Barbican Young Poets and Friends

The Barbican Young Poets is a programme for writers aged 14-25 who love the spoken and written word and want to push their work in the company of other passionate voices. They will be joined on stage in a poetry extravaganza by poets from collectives across Waltham Forest and east London - featuring the Barbican Junior Poets, Cardinal Pole School Spoken Word Club, Kingsford School Spoken Word Club, Octavia, Theatre Royal Stratford East's Young Spoken Word Company, and poets Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Jet Sweeney and Michelle Tiwo.

Image credit: Dan Hipkin


Image credit Ryan O'Toole Collett

The Barbican Junior Poets are a group of inspiringly talented young writers from four schools in Waltham Forest: Ainslie Wood Primary, Chingford Foundation School, Riverley Primary and Rushcroft Foundation School. Under the guidance of writer and performance-maker Paula Varjack and assistant-facilitators Omar Bynon and Remi Graves, the Junior Poets have explored a range of creative approaches to writing and performing poetry.

Don't miss their energetic, heartwarming poetry at Walthamstow Garden Party. Octavia Octavia is a poetry collective for women of colour led by Rachel Long and housed at Southbank Centre, London. Octavia was born out of an aching necessity to create a space where women of colour could come together to read beyond the canon, write without fear of condemnation or exoticization, share openly without censorship, and support each other not only as fellow writers but as sisters.  

Image credit: Belinda Lawley, Southbank Centre

There are 17 members of Octavia, they are poets but also educators, dancers and astrophysicists making their collective voice zoetic and nuanced.  Since their creation in September 2015, Octavia have featured on BBC’s World Service, in The Guardian and ASOS Magazine. They’ve run workshops at University of Oxford and for the Serpentine Galleries. Octavia closed this year’s Women of the World festival with their poetic response to Margaret Atwood’s novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.      
Theatre Royal Stratford East Spoken Word Company Jayeola Hassan and Storm Stanley represent Theatre Royal Stratford East's Young Spoken Word Company; a place to have a creative voice.