We are inviting 10 young people aged 14-22 on an exhilarating journey into the rebellious history of poetry, sparking a new wave of creative talent. We are seeking budding storytellers, activists, and those with untold stories about the world. If you’re unsure of how to express it, the First Steps Poetry program could be your creative haven. Join us to explore the art of rhyme, joy, and resistance.
Over a span of six weeks, participants will collaborate with acclaimed spoken word poet Sipho Eric Ndlovu and theatre director Fateha Begum. The group will engage in live poetry and theatre experiences, culminating in an opportunity to perform at UniSlam 2024. This is your chance to unleash the rebel within through the power of verse.
The 6 sessions will be held on:
- Tuesday 13 February – Session One
- Tuesday 20 February – Session Two
- Tuesday 27 February – Session Three
- Tuesday 5 March – Session Four
- Saturday 9 March – Session Five
- Tuesday 12 March – Session Six
The final performance will be on Sunday 17 March.
Each session will run from 5.30-7.30pm. The final session on Tuesday 12 March will be celebrated with a special Iftaar meal served from 6pm.
To express your interest, please fill in the application form here.
The deadline for applications is Friday 2 February, at midnight. Places will be announced during the week commencing 5 February. Remember: previous poetry or writing experience is not required—what we’re searching for is passion and a willingness to explore the new and extraordinary. We welcome all voices eager to be heard!
Fateha Begum is a creative producer and applied theatre practitioner from Birmingham.
She has devised performance pieces for and worked with arts organisations including Birmingham Hippodrome, Women and Theatre, Derby University, Stans Cafe, RSC and Zeroplus Theatre Company. Fateha is also a Windsor Fellow.
She is currently working with the newly formed BADA which is working to develop artists and organisations of Bangladeshi heritage. As well as developing youth theatre hubs in Birmingham.
Sipho Eric Ndlovu is a performance artist and writer whose approach encourages accessibility & inclusivity in the arts.
Current Poet Laureate of The University of Sheffield Social Sciences, Sipho is inspired by community engagement and delivering quality arts programmes through the explorations of dance, acting and poetry.