NINE British poets are teaming up with Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre to present three short films showcasing their work.
Taking part are Toby Campion, Martin Daws, Hayley Green, Ray Hearne, Zara Jayne, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Otis Mensah, Nima Taleghani and Beverley Ward.
The three films will be online for a month from 5pm on August 11, 13 and 15, each marking the end of a day of Summer School classes from the SJT. Each one will feature three poets discussing their work and reading at least one of their poems.
Curator Nadia Emam says: “These films feature some fantastic poets from all over the UK, performing a couple of their poems but also including a short interview about them and their work.
“Viewers will get to watch a poetry performance, but also hear a little more about the journey of each poet, which I hope will be an inspiration to anyone curious about writing poetry and making a living from it themselves.”
The nine poetry videos and interviews have been shot individually under lockdown conditions and then edited and tied together into three films by Sheffield filmmaker Brett Chapman.
Curator Nadia Emam also will lead an hour-long performance poetry workshop at 3pm each day at the Summer School. She was a member of the SJT’s Youth Theatre and is now an actor, poet and director in Sheffield, where she is a Crucible Theatre supported artist.
In addition to Nadia’s poetry workshop and the films, the SJT Summer School includes:
Tuesday, August 11: Movement and street dance with Marcquelle Ward and puppetry with Andrew Kim, for nine to 13 year olds;
Thursday, August 13: Musical theatre with Alex Weatherhill and HowTo Do Accents with Alix Dunmore, for 14 to 18 year olds;
Saturday, August 15: Conducting an orchestra (a beginner’s guide) with Shaun Matthew and public speaking with York-born SJT actress Frances Marshall.
Access to the poetry films is free. To watch, visit the SJT’s YouTube channel from August 11 at: youtube.com/channel/UCUChChdq-MZrUIqOAhEIB7w.
The SJT’s online Summer School costs £18 per day for all three sessions. Individual sessions can be booked at £7 each. To book, go to: sjt.uk.com/event/1050/online_summer_school_
The poets in profile:
Toby Campion: Poet, playwright, former UK Poetry Slam Champion and World Poetry Slam finalist. His debut collection, Through Your Blood, was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize.
Recipient of the 2019 Aurora Prize for Poetry, he has performed around the world, at Glastonbury Festival and on The Arts Show with Jonathan Ross. He will read Oyster and Nits.
Martin Daws: Active as a spoken-word poet for more than 20 years, performing in the UK, USA and Eire, delivering commissions and residencies and publishing two collections. He was Young People’s Laureate for Wales, 2013 to 2016, and will read Under The Slates, Weekend: Saturday Afternoon and Together.
Hayley Green: Originally from Nottingham, now based in Scarborough, she performs across the UK and Europe. She teaches poetry and creative writing in schools, colleges and communities, using poetry and creative writing to explore self-harm, mental health, sexuality, gender and identity, often the focus of her own poetry and performance. She will read Changing Rooms and Playtime.
Ray Hearne: His poem A Sing Song For Stainless Steel was cut into 14 benches in Sheffield city centre. Now he is working with a stonecutter in Barnsley to devise words for a Grimethorpe Trail.
His songs have been performed and recorded by the late Roy Bailey, Kate Rusby and Coope Boyes and Simpson. The Ballad Of Wentworth and Elsecar awaits publication in autumn 2020. He will read Werewolves Of Rotherham and Living On Broad Yorkshire Street.
Zara Jayne: Started writing at the age of ten when she had her first poem published in Cosmic. Her poems have appeared in the charity magazine Sense and in the book A Blind Bit Of Difference; a short play was put on at a London theatre.
She performed in Martha, Josie And The Chinese Elvis at the SJT in 2019 and will read Ghostlight and A Dirty World.
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan: Educator, writer and poet from West Yorkshire. Her work disrupts narratives of history, race, knowledge and power, interrogating the political purpose of conversations about Muslims, migrants, gender and violence.
She works to provide herself and others with “the tools to resist systemic oppression by unlearning what society and the education system have instilled in us”. She will read British Values.
Otis Mensah: Self-proclaimed mum’s house philosopher and rap psalmist, offering an alternative take on contemporary hip hop and spoken word.
Shedding light on “existential commonalities through vulnerable expression”, he uses aesthetic language to paint worlds of thought. Appointed the first poet laureate of Sheffield by former Lord Mayor and MEP Magid Magid, he will read Ode To Black Thought and Shifting Sands.
Nima Taleghani: Actor, writer and workshop facilitator. Theatre and screen credits include Romeo And Juliet and The Merry Wives Of Windsor(RSC), Hatton Garden (ITV) and Casualty (BBC).
A selector and London Ambassador for the National Student Drama Festival, Nima will read King Arthur and This City.
Beverley Ward: Writer, facilitator and coach who writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction and is passionately in love with the creative process of writing.
She has run writing workshops for adults and children for more than 20 years and has her own writers’ workshop in Sheffield and a retreat in Bridlington.
She has published poems, stories and two books: Archie Nolan: Family Detective, for children, and the memoir Dear Blacksmith. She will read What If, The Swing In An Empty Playground and Poem For Kids Leaving Primary School.
The curator: Nadia Emam was awarded a placement last year with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme at the SJT, where she curated the poetry evening Still I Rise, celebrating female poets. Her debut poetry film won the WEX Short Film Competition and was part of BFI’s Northern