Peterborough’s Poet Laureate has secured National Lottery Funding for a Poetry Showcase…
Not only is Charley Genever the youngest person to be crowned Peterborough Poet Laureate, she is also perhaps the youngest person from the city to be in direct receipt of a grant from Arts Council England.
She’s been busy fulfilling her laureate duties by working on a new kind of poetry night, which she has called Freak Speak, to Radius on Friday October 7.
Freak Speak is set to be a poetry and spoken word night unlike any other. Three of the country’s most talented performance poets will be taking to the stage to share their powerful words. Both poets and audience are actively encouraged to be loud, rowdy, and uncensored.
Headlining this Freak Speak are two internationally revered poets, Adam Kammerling and Dean Atta, who are both highly acclaimed and respected in the poetry world. Support will come from London poet Deanna Rodger and two local artists, to be announced.
Charley said – “I am so honoured to be supported by Arts Council England. The funding gives me the opportunity to invite the country’s best wordsmiths to perform in Peterborough. I really feel that, as Poet Laureate, it’s my responsibility to build on the current poetry offering in the city, and I think Freak Speak is something different to offer people who might be interested in poetry and spoken word.
“This Freak Speak we are supporting the city’s fantastic Black History Month programme and Black Lives Matters through our choice of headliners. I also plan to dress the space with words from writers of colour, and I’m really keen to open up discussions about Peterborough’s incredible culture as part of the night.”
Charley piloted Freak Speak in November 2015, just before she was crowned Peterborough Poet Laureate. The first events were a huge success, and saw over seventy people through the doors per night. Charley hopes that Freak Speak will grow and reach audiences in the hundreds.
The funding from the Arts Council also allows Freak Speak to support and help develop poets in Peterborough and the wider region. Before each Freak Speak there’ll be an affordable poetry masterclass run by one of the headline artists, and poets of all abilities are encouraged to attend to sharpen their skills.
Since being crowned Peterborough Poet Laureate, Charley has also been running poetry workshops and performing in the city at various events and got through to the finals of nationally acclaimed competition, Poetry Rivals, where she performed her poem ‘The New Poet Manifesto’ at the extremely prestigious Elgar Room of the Royal Albert Hall.
Freak Speak comes to Radius on Friday October 7. Tickets are £6, and are available on Eventbrite, or can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.freakspeakpoetry.co.uk