A month before the first youth forum in January 2016, I launched a short film that kick-started the youth platform that Young People Insight has evolved into.
It made perfect sense that the first birthday of Young People Insight would be celebrated with a night of poetry and spoken word, at the first Poetic Insight of 2017. On January 17th the theme, Celebration & Moving Forward, resulted in a number of inspiring and thought-provoking pieces from some amazing young talent.
Not only was the theme a perfect fit for the occasion, but it was a perfect fit for quite a few of the performers, who were moving forward with their craft by performing their poetry in public for the first time.
Giving young people the opportunity to speak their mind through poetry and spoken word was the reason why I started Poetic Insight in the first place, so I was happy to learn that this platform had given them the chance to do that. In spite of the nerves they may have had, their delivery was clear, their words strong and impactful.
One particular individual was Ashan, a last-minute addition to the schedule, who asked me to perform on the night. She revealed that she was sharing her poetry with an audience for the first time and then went on to blow us all away, with poems on the subjects of mental health and Black Lives Matter.
First time performer Jack was first up on the mic, challenging our perception of success, while Tekisha Henry brought the house down to end the night, as she reminded us that we’re ‘A
Promising Generation’. DanielWrites brought variety by reciting his spoken word accompanied by Joe on the keyboard and Authentic Alanie got into character to perform her spoken word.
Sh’kira, a member of the audience said: “It was so interesting to hear the different themes that people chose to speak on. Also the different styles of spoken word was really great to hear. It was also nice to hear people share their personal issues, like their mental health, and I think it was good that people felt that they were in a space to confidently share their issues, even with people they didn’t know.”
Every individual bought something different with their performance, making it a special night bursting with variety, so I want to take this time to thank Jack, Jennelle, Keshon, Alana, Daniel, Nyasha, Jamal, Lopez, Ashan, Aaron and Tekisha. This night could not have happened and would not have been the same without you.
I want to end with a few words from one of the performers from the night, which perfectly articulate everything I want Poetic Insight to be. Jamal says: “It’s so good to see that there’s a place young people can go to get something off their chest. If there’s nothing like this then we would keep our emotions in and express it in negative ways. Poetry is therapy.”