The Poetry Exchanges Videos

Throughout lockdown, ten poets from Born Lippy  (Newcastle) and Spoken (London) Collectives met, researched, wrote & rehearsed poems about social issues important to them. Filmmaker – Davey Poremda (Fly Films) brought their message to life by creating five hard hitting videos. The five videos will be released one at a time, every Friday at 2pm…

The Poetry Exchange Event

WEDNESDAY APRIL 7TH 7.30-9.30PM Born Lippy & Spoken present -THE POETRY EXCHANGE Live and direct from a stage to your living room. Over Ssix months poets from Newcastle & London have visited each others cities to co-create spoken word to inspire social change. This night will be the premier of of those poems performed alongside…

What’s it all about?

This blog is dedicated to documenting the Poetry Exchange – an exciting partnership project between poets from Newcastle and London, enabling them to visit each others’ cities to write and co-create spoken word videos to inspire social change.   The project is led by two collectives – Born Lippy (Newcastle) and Spoken (London) who both run…

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.…

Zoom a Zoom Zoom, 10 Poets in a Virtual Room

The Initial meet up – Saturday 12th September Like most things in the world, we have had to adapt this project to embrace the so called ‘new normal’. The poetry exchange was due to start back in April 2020. However, due to Lockdown measures and the ongoing pandemic, the Born Lippy Collective (based in Newcastle)…


Poetry for change After many months of discussions, the day had finally arrived, when a bunch of poetic Geordies descended on London for a day of making new connections with their equally creative counterparts to change the world, one poem at a time. Taking the train from Newcastle to King Cross and making our way…

Poets and their process

The poets have met, been buddied up and have started meeting each other online. But how are they finding the process of writing with a partner who lives over 300 miles always?  Read their stories about their creative process and the challenges they faced so far.  


Myself and Sara are both passionate about similar issues but have different writing styles and so, initially we spoke about the things we’re passionate about and wrote some ideas separately. Now we’ve been gradually editing and adding to our poem together and have a mash up of each of our ideas. 

Before the poetry exchange, Andreena and I had never co-written a poem with anyone before. I have to admit I was initially quite nervous about doing this, as writing is such a personal thing for me, so the thought of sharing this process with another writer was daunting to say the least.

Andreena is absolutely wonderful, and we’d actually met online prior to the Poetry Exchange at her event, “Poetry LGBT”.

To write this poem we’ve kept each other in check via zoom meet-up but as far as the writing process, it’s pretty much the same as always for me, I regularly make notes on my phone and go back over them to piece together a poem.

We’re meeting again later this month to share our notes/verses and see what works and what doesn’t. I’m really looking forward to putting this piece together with Andreena


Andi and i both agreed we wanted to write about the homelessness LGBTQ people face in the UK. We wanted to highlight the issues of a marginalised group that we both belong to and having personally experiencing homelessness it was quite important for both of us. 

On the day Andi visited London with the other creatives we came up with lots of ideas on our chosen subject from working through the 4 questions that was given to us.

  • What do you want to say?
  • Who do you want to hear it?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • What do you need to research and where do you need to get it?

After a lengthy and productive day together we went away excited to research the topic.

Having both vaguely researched the topic we reconnected on Zoom a month later and came to a mutual agreement that focusing solely on the homelessness faced by LGBTQ people was too narrow. We discussed at length the nationwide problem of the hidden homeless. These people are not recorded accurately statically because its so difficult to capture the number of people who are sofa surfing, living in temporary accommodation, refuges, or any other precarious way of living. 

We are keen to highlight this issue because when most people think of homelessness they mostly think of people who are visibly street homeless, sleeping rough. 

We have also discussed including some of the reasons people may have become homeless in order to break down certain stereotypes and assumptions. 

For me this way of working is vastly different from how i usually write my poems. My poems usually come from a place of anger or hurt and are written at the time of experiencing the emotion. It’s a way of me expressing how i feel at the time and helps me to deal with what has happened. 

The majority of my poems have been written within 15 minutes. With this poetry exchange more thought and research will have to be included which is a welcomed challenge for me.

Andi and i have decided to write about the subject separately and merge them together when we meet again on Zoom. 

That time is fast approaching and i’m finding it difficult to know where to start. I have researched and have written notes but i haven’t started writing the poem. I have set aside some time next week to focus. 

In the previous Zoom meeting where we all met as a group i felt relieved to hear that we can ask for help if we need it. 

I am excited to be working on this project with Andi and the other creatives. Although we have different styles of writing its comforting to know that we both write from the heart.

I am particularly looking forward to the visit to Newcastle as i have never been there before.

Tom C

We began in Tottenham by mapping our initial thoughts on a huge piece of paper, smattered with doodles and not arranged into any particular order.  This brainstorming gave us the foundations to write a list of themes that we had raised. Now that we had the outline to work from, upon returning to Newcastle I couldn’t wait to get going with Haylee writing our piece on the subject of social media.

A few lengthy phone calls later we had some ideas on how to present our work and what exactly it was going to be. As our aim is to get people to reconnect, we are currently in the process of designing a survey to gauge public opinion on social media and its impact. The idea is to tell real stories through multiple characters. We have also begun to write with each other on video call, doing free write exercises to keep ourselves loose in the process.

I’m so excited to get these ideas into reality but I also don’t want this to ever end. It’s been wonderful to work with a talented and driven writer like Haylee so far and long may we continue to collaborate in the future.


The whole process has been pretty interesting for me as it has awoken a part of me that was bottled up like someone shook a coca cola bottle with mentos chucked in and resealed. It has been a process that I have missed. Being in a space (even if it’s via Zoom) with another writer bouncing and sharing ideas. That little calm before the storm is phenomenal for me. Working with Don is pretty dope as he’s a poet with a different style to mine but I feel we’ll get some interesting views from our collaborations

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