Tag Archives: Voices of a New Generation

We Are Poets – reviews

I’m very very biased so instead of writing my own review here’s what some other people have had to say about the Leeds Young Authors award-winning documentary of their trip to Brave New Voices:

photo (c) Mark Cocksedge - click here for full photoset

BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH“Amazing…the film itself is a poem. Poetry is an art, filmmaking is an art, it’s takes great sensitivity to bring them together – this film shows us how it’s done!”

I-D MAGAZINE –  “Lyrical, important and ultra-cool…a brilliant story and a milestone in breaking down stereotypes”

SHEFFIELD DOC FEST“From its utterly brilliant opening, through to its moving finale, ‘We Are Poets’ is inspirational!  A Poignant, truthful and uplifting film – a cracking documentary!”

LEMN SISSAY“I’m afraid I’ve never been a fan of the poetry slam but this film made me question my judgement… Because of Slam the ever decreasing circle of the poetry reading is now looking outwards  to the masses… This film made me fonder of the new generation and reminded me of what it is to be a poet.” Continue reading

Escaping the Mad-Man Jail

As a former practictioner of the dark and dubious ‘art’ that is advertising (12 years in remission and counting…) George Monbiot’s article in the Grauniad: Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it, provides a welcome addition to mainstream attempts at addressing this all-pervasive evil.

Monbiot does acknowledge that his “column is framed by two airline adverts”  (on recent view also a Barclays ad, together with a Join the British Army ad provided by Google…) and further in depth analysis of such issues can, as ever, be found via medialens – an essential antidote to the ad-reliant corporate media – who comment:

“the deeper problem is that advertising is one of a number of filters built into the state-corporate media system that prevent us from accessing corporate unfriendly facts, values and perspectives. People are not even able to see that there are alternatives to materialist happiness. These possibilities are almost completely filtered out, maligned, ignored…” Continue reading

Prepare for Youth Poetry Power

Sticking to the RED theme set up by the first two posts – here’s a very amateur recording of two young poets it was my pleasure to coach at the 2010 Leeds Young Authors 7th Annual Voices of a New Generation Literature Festival and Poetry Slam:

I come back to this video a lot as the poem – written by a 12 and 13 year old before the student protests kicked off in the UK and before the uprisings in the North Afrikan/Arabian World – really speaks to the moment and is a great answer to the false foolish forced Shock Doctrine of big society (sic), privatisation, and cutting of public services. Yes, these young people have no problem in seeing and calling out the Empire as stark raving nekkid.

As a performance poet, this was definitely one of my most spine-tingling, hair-on-end proudest moments and it is gratifying to hear the word-sound power of da yout resonate with a crowd, to offer them a platform to share their knowledge and insight, and a creative outlet for their energy and passion.

Plus as Zena Edwards says of the recent SHAKE! project on which we are fortunate to be poet facilitators: Continue reading