Marking the return of Blahblahblah to the newly renovated Bristol Old Vic Studio in a showcase like no other, join Caleb Femi, Momtaza Mehri (original and current Young People’s Laureate for London) and Bristol's very own City Poet, Vanessa Kissule as they use spoken work to celebrate what it is to be poet laureates in today's society.
Presented in association with Bristol Festival of Literature.
Momtaza is a British-Somali poet, essayist and editor with a background in biomedical science. Her work has been featured in Poetry Review, BuzzFeed, BBC Radio 4, Vogue and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Open Space. She is a Complete Works Fellow, and winner of the 2017 Out-Spoken Page Poetry Prize and the 2018 Brunel African Poetry Prize. She was third place in the 2017 National Poetry Competition. Her chapbook sugah.lump.prayer was published as part of the New Generation African Poets series, edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. Her poems also feature in Ten: Poets of the New Generation, published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017.
In 2018 she was appointed as the second Young People’s Laureate for London. The scheme engages young people across London with poetry as well as representing their voices nationally and internationally. In this role Momtaza will lead the Young People’s Laureate Tour reaching disadvantaged young people in outer London boroughs.
Caleb is poet hailing from south London. He is featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. Using film, photography and music Caleb is passionate about pushing the boundaries of poetry both on the page, in performance and on digital mediums. He has written and directed short films commissioned by the BBC and Channel 4 and poems by the Tate Mordern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC and the Guardian. Between 2016-2018, Caleb was the Young People’s Laureate for London working with young people on a city, national and global level. Caleb performs and speaks internationally gracing major stages, institutions and festivals.
Vanessa is a writer and performer and has been appointed Bristol City Poet 2018 – 2020. She was the recipient of The Jerwood Micro Arts Bursary in 2017 to undertake extensive dance training and also received the prestigious Leverhulme Arts Scholarship in 2017 from Bristol Old Vic. She has worked with the Southbank Centre, RADA, The Bristol City Council, Knee High Theatre and Warner Music and had her work featured on BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Gal Dem Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Blue Peter, Sky TV and TEDx in Vienna. Her poetry collections ‘Joyriding The Storm’ and ‘A Recipe For Sorcery’ are both published by Burning Eye. Her one woman show SEXY is currently on tour (supported by Arts Council England, Bristol Old Vic and Camden People’s Theatre).