Author Archive

Poetry Library Tour – Michael Oladeji & Chris McCabe

November 4, 2008

One of the great things about Poetry International this year is that the Street Genius placements not only got to experience new poets, but they also met the people being the poems, poets, programmers and also librarians. This video is part of an interview between Michael Oladeji and Chris McCabe from the Poetry Library.


Are You Listening? Lemn and only Lemn.

November 2, 2008

On Wednesday I went to see Lemn Sissay read from his latest book Listener. Although I’ve seen Lemn read quite a few times in the last four or five years, I realised this was the first event that I’d been to with Lemn & only Lemn on stage. As with any of his performances, you get the tardmark moves: stories about the poems, stopping a poem and starting it again when he feels he can do better, and brave emotional poems next to funny and political poems. This combined with Lemn’s energy really do challange you to listen not only to the poems but to everything in between, the banter between poem and audience, the laughter, and your own thoughts after hearing each poem. And with a longer set, I felt more moved in this reading than when I’ve seen Lemn previously. Particularly by the poems that have come out of his appearances on Radio 4’s Saturday Live programme. One that I’ve never get tired of hearing is Red Sky Dawn, which was written for a pregnant woman trapped in her house during a flood. It’s the second poem in the video.

Lemn Listening & Bloggers Eating

October 30, 2008

Hello people,

Here’s my video diary from last night. Enjoy!

Festival Opener – A Visual Response from Creative Connection

October 26, 2008

Here’s a video of the Creative Connection response to the Poetry International Festival event with Reem Kelani.

Thanks again to Tim & team for capturing the event in such beautiful pictures.

Mark Doty reading from Theories & Apparitions

October 26, 2008

Hello people!

Here’s a clip from Mark Doty’s reading last night. The pictures you can see feature some of our bloggers in residence, George, Sara and Swithun.

Blogging! What did you learn today? Haha

October 26, 2008

I’m so happy! It’s only day two and the blog is in full flow. We’ve got audio, video, text, image and more to come. Those of you who were at the opener on Friday will have seen some of the our Street Genius bloggers hanging around, taking pictures and generally capturing the action. Before the festival started, we invited them to a series of workshops aimed at introducing them to blogging and equipping them with the skills and confidence to get going.
In the video: Samara & Gizella

As you can see from the video, it was a fun(ny) learning experience for us all 🙂

Gizella Ojadi reads ‘The Target’ by Tal Nitzam

October 25, 2008

Hello people!

This a clip of Gizella Ojadi reading ‘The Target’ by Tal Nitzam. This was one of the poems Gizella selected to be read during the event last night. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for it, but with the wonders of the blog, here’s what you missed.


Sights & Sounds from Day 1

October 24, 2008

What an amazing opening night! We kicked off with a special Friday Tonic event programmed by Gizella Ojadi. For the first half, poems by Mahmoud Darwish and other works by Palestinian writers were read by young actors, Emerging Artists in Residence and other young people from the Street Genius project. In the second half was the wonderful Reem Kelani performing with classical jazz pianist, Bruno Heinen.

Were you in the audience, what did you think?

Here’s a recording of Reem and some photos I took during the evening.

See you soon,


Simon Armitage reads ‘The Christening’ (2006)

October 24, 2008

Here’s a clip of Simon Armitage reading at Poetry International 2006. Enjoy!

Hello! I’m Yemisi Blake

October 23, 2008

Poetry International Blog Session 216

Hello people!

My name is Yemisi Blake, I’m a Freelance Creative living in London. I’m currently an Emerging Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. Over the last few weeks I’ve been creative mentor to Gizella Ojadi, (a young woman on the Street Genius Project who has programmed the Poetry International Opener), I’ve also been blogging mentor to a group of young bloggers from the same project. Look out for their posts!

During the festival I’ll be bringing to the blog:

My thoughts and responses to the programmed events

Archive footage from the Poetry International 2006

Photos, videos and audio captured during my time mentoring the a group of young bloggers for the festival.

Comments on other people’s blog posts.

See you soon!