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Meet the crew…

Meet the Project Coordinators

Greetings, my name is Donald Jenkins. I am a performance poet, writer, spoken word producer and coordinator of The Poetry Excange. Coming straight out of Newcastle, I represent Born Lippy – a spoken word, Hiphop and comedy night, that is one of the two collectives taking part in the Poetry Exchange.

Hello there, my name is Moussa Sylla-Amine. I am a Community Organiser, activist, spoken word producer and coordinator of the Poetry Exchange. Coming straight out of London, I represent Spoken – a dub poetry, spoken word and acoustics night, that is one of the two collectives taking part in the Poetry Exchange.

Collectively, we will be updating this blog regularly to keep you posted on the developments of the poetry exchange.

Meet the Poets

Haylee Venus (Spoken)

Creativity is her life force and her source of inspiration. Haylee Venus is a social entrepreneur, humanitarian activist, singer and creative artist. She established herself through a creative network, Embrace U Empire, and has since been working as a performer, creative artist and entrepreneur within communities and in partnership with community organisations addressing homelessness. She is also starting the fashion show Inspiring Edge amongst other initiatives. Haylee is also the co-founder of the poetry platform Spoken, which uses poetry to cultivate conversation around social change and social action.

Tom Conway (Born Lippy)

Has been a writer all his life and a performing poet for almost a decade. In his role as co-founder of the Born Lippy collective, he has helped bring poetry to new audiences. He firmly believes in poetry as a tool for change, both personally and communally.

Andreena Survivor (Spoken)

Andreena Leeanne is an out and proud Black Lesbian Poet, Compere & Inspirational Speaker. She writes and performs poetry to speak about her personal experiences with abandonment, homelessness, mental health and childhood sexual abuse. By speaking her truth she inspires and empowers others to speak their truth and take action. Andreena founded Poetry LGBT Open Mic Night in January 2015. Poetry LGBT is a warm and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community to come together to share their experiences through poetry and spoken word. Andreena has performed her poetry at various community led & Labour Party and Local Authority events such as LB Hackney during LGBT History Month, the Greater London Authority and at International Women’s Day events. You can read one of her poems on The Survivors Trust website here.  https://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/poetry

Andy Talbot (Born Lippy)

Poet and activist from Newcastle, England. Their latest chapbook “Old Wounds //New Skin” (second printing) is out now via Analog Submission Press. They have work published in several places, such as Back Patio Press, Fragmented Voices, Paper and Ink Zine and Vamp Cat Mag. They are an avid Raiders, San Jose Sharks and Newcastle United fan.

Jayda David (Spoken)

Young spoken word artist whose poetry centres around social and racial politics, inspired by her life and experiences as a working-class, dual heritage woman in London. Jayda has performed on London Live, BBC Radio 5 and at The Television Centre for Mental Health Week. She was also the winner of Poetic Unity’s Black British History Competition 2019. As well as performing, Jayda also facilitates spoken word workshops, which combines her love of poetry and teaching. https://letsstartmeoff.wordpress.com/

Sara Zafar (Born Lippy)

Sara’s poetry focuses on the cultural struggles of women around the world and her own experiences of being a British South Asian woman. Sara aims to address the avoided and uncomfortable conversations of race, religion and gender with her writing.

Mark T Thompson (Spoken)

‘Philosophers seek to interpret the world, but it’s us who needs to change it.’ This is my take on Brecht, interpreting the idea of Marx, that creating change in society is what we are here to do. I believe that spoken word is a brilliant tool with which to attack the challenges involved in bringing about change through opening hearts and minds with verse. Words are the building blocks of thought and communication; and the best words, in their best order, help us to understand both ourselves and the universal context around us better. As an activist, educator and a performer I have been directly involved in trying to change the world, one heart and mind at a time for nearly twenty five years. London based, I have lived in the west end of Newcastle, and I’m not thrown by the vernacular of either the Norse infused Geordie or the Jamaican and influenced contemporary twist on Estuary English.

I’ve delivered workshops on Black History, culture and identity, genetic selection and violence in the home, and had work featured from BBC Radio 4 to the Paralympics. 

Ellen Moran (Born Lippy)

Spoken word poet from Newcastle who wants to create social and political change. She believes in taking collective action and working cooperatively to change our society to be better for everyone. She is the winner of the Great Northern Slam 2018 and a semi-finalist of the Hammer and Tongue UK Final 2019.

Tim Anthony Forde aka Passion (Spoken)

I am a creative activist that’s been writing poetry since the age of 13. I was once named ‘Literature Pimp’ after I performed a poem by the same name. Under the name Passion I penned and performed poems like ‘Ribena’ and ‘Soul Searching’ in 2001, part of a poetry album called ‘Love Inspires’. I once wrote and edited a spoken word video named ‘Unfaithful’, which tells a story of my affair with Poetry and music videos as I’m also an avid filmmaker. These days I’m just Tim Forde. I currently write for love, life and social injustice. I tend to sometimes write my poems in a self-centred attempt to leave a legacy but also with the understanding that someone is going to look back at this time and see what the Griots of the time were saying.

Donald Jenkins (Born Lippy)

Performance poet, writer, event producer, arts facilitator, community activist & co-founder of Born Lippy. His poems have featured in the anthology- ‘New Word Order’, ‘The Writer’s Cafe’ magazine and ‘Riggwelter’ journal and upcoming Best British Poets 2020 in Eyewear. He won the Great Gateshead Slam 2018 and has performed at Glastonbury and the Royal Albert Hall. He has completed commissions for Curious Festival 2019 & 24 Hours in Isolation.  Donald is a qualified English teacher and youth worker and has over twenty-two years’ experience of working with young people in working class communities. He is committed to writing poetry that challenges stereotypes and sheds light on unheard voices. 

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