SLAMbassador poets Jay Bernard and Kayo Chingonyi – both of whom began their careers as teens in the Poetry Society’s Rise Slam Championships – have been included on a list of 10 poets who will be further nurtured by the Complete Works II programme. The programme, led by Dr Natalie Teitler and supported by the amazing Spread the Word, will give all 10 of the artists full mentoring and nurturing as they embark on the next firm steps in their writing careers.
Less than 1% of poetry published by major presses in the UK is by Black and Asian poets, and this initiative is an attempt to redress that shameful inbalance. It is also encouraging to see that half the 10 poets selected are female.
The 10 will attend literary salons, semionars, receive critical feedback from poet mentors, spend some valuable time on a residential week at the Arvon Foundation – and become published in a new Bloodaxe anthology. Another hidden benefit is the that they will all be able to network and provide life long artisitic support for each other. It is the foundation stone of the next generation of UK poets.
The 10 selected poets are: Kayo Chingonyi, Jay Bernard, Warsan Shire, Sarah Howe (previous winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards) Adam Lowe, Inua Ellams, Rishi Dastidar, Eileen Pun, Edward Doegar and Mona Arshi. The patron of the programme is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Just so you know why he was selected , here is a sample of Kayo Chingonyi’s Alternate Take recorded at the last SLAMbassadors Sessions.
A proud day at the Poetry Society.
The next SLAMbassador Sessions will be at the Poetry Cafe on March 7th 7.30pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org,uk for more details.