June 2, 2015
I am very chuffed to announce that I have been named one of the Southbank Centre’s 67 Change Makers! The Change Makers are described as people who ‘use creativity, innovation, courage and determination to make changes that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Some have used the arts in powerful ways to demonstrate that music, dance and literature all have the potential to transform lives.’
Amazing. It’s really good to see that spoken word is being recognised as a positive factor in the transformation of lives.
Why 67? They chose that number is honour of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of public service. Like I said, well chuffed – even to be named in the the same sentence as him. Even more chuffed to be honoured among some of my personal heroes like Peter Tatchell, Dame Doreen Lawrence, Shami Chakrabarti and slam sister Shirley May.
To celebrate the award Jacob Sam La Rose, Shirley May, Ali Gadema (Frisko) and me will be performing in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall from 6-7pm. Full info here
We are the seeds of dreams.
April 2, 2015
I have co-ordinated the SLAMbassador slams for around 14 years. In that time, I am asked at least a couple of times a day what a participant might win if they went all the way to the finals. I tell them the obvious: you win a master class, a gig, you win long term mentoring and continual guidance on developing you career – exploring stages and publishing opportunities. You win the love of the people you work with in your team. You win someone always standing stage-side urging you on toward the microphone. You win the sound of applause settling in your stomach like butterflies. You win self respect. You win a straighter spine. You win the right to write your future.
You win art.
Oh, and a small trophy.
And then just when you think you’ve won everything you possibly can, the door to the future swings wide open.
I have just had great news about 2 very different poets from different winning teams of SLAMbassadors: Aakifah Aboobakar and Tommy Sissons.
Aakifah Aboobakar and her passionate assault on Islamophobia One Word. One Name. has made it through to the finals of the Amnesty International Youth Awards 2015. She will be travelling to London to accept her award on April 29th, and will have our hearts with her. Huge, huge congratulations from all of us.
Secondly, Tommy Sissons – who only won SLAMbassadors in late 2014 – has become a featured poet on Channel 4’s Four to the Floor, opening the whole series. The series features artists to watch out for, those that Channel 4 believe are about to break through. We couldn’t agree more.
Watch the Possibilities video here
And that’s not all.
Two more SLAMbassadors were published in the highly acclaimed OUTSPOKEN LDN anthology of poetry as well – Ollie O’Neill and Charlotte Higgins – and the book was launch earlier this week in the spectacular Forge jazz venue in Camden. Make sure you buy your copy and support the creation of underground art.
And then of course there is the phenomena of Megan Beech, who was published by Burning Eye Books within weeks of winning SLAMbassadors and whose book When I Grow Up I Want To Be Mary Beard has become an international hit, selling across the UK, USA and Canada.
We are very proud of all you, and look forward to the future with you.
March 26, 2015
SLAMbassadors UK is now open for entries!
To enter download an Entry Form and post it to
or scan it and email it to jtaylorATpoetrysociety.org.uk
With the Entry Form please either send a copy of your video to the email above or a link to the You Tube page where you have uploaded it.
The theme is Identity and the Closing Date is 30th Spetember 2015.
September 2, 2014
The word is spreading! There is a quiet revolution taking place in schools across the UK. It is spoken word.
Watch SLAMbassadors UK Artistic Director and National Coach Joelle Taylor in the latest Tedx Talk about the transformational power of youth slam and spoken word, and speaking the silences:
August 18, 2014
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer rain. I have been busy touring festivals and running a few workshops – and getting set to record some more entries into SLAMbassadors UK this weekend at Shambala Festival after my set there.
If you are between 12-18 years old, are a poet, a spoken word artist or rapper/ emcee and you will be at the festival, come and hunt me down. I’m performing at Wandering Word at 7.30pm on Friday night and the next day at 11am I will be leading a workshop session to help identify the next generation of spoken word artists.
Come and find me so I can find you.
And for the rest of you, remember: the closing date is October 10th 2014, and joining me on the judging panel will be the legendary Kate Tempest.
We hope to be watching your films.