Poetic Insight came to Thornton Heath for the first time on July 17th, as part of Thornton Heath Arts Week. I was really excited for this event, not only because Poetic Insight was branching out, but because it was coming to the place I call home. I can proudly say that I am born, raised and currently reside in Thornton Heath, so finally putting on an event there meant a lot to me.
What made it even better was being able to host Poetic Insight in Thornton Heath Library, a place that is an important part of my childhood. I remember attending the Book Trails during the summer, constantly trawling the shelves for new books to read, and making my way through The Baby-Sitters Club series and anything by Enid Blyton or Jacqueline Wilson. The library was one of my favourite locations and gave me nothing but positive memories.
A library is also directly linked to the literary world, making it an ideal location for a poetry event in my mind, which is why I wanted Poetic Insight to be there. We were fortunate enough to have the event in a beautiful circular area, filled with light and surrounded by art from Age UK’s Art Club exhibition. I could not have asked for anything better.
However, it did get a whole lot better with the sharing of poetry from amazing young talent. Every time I listen to the poets and spoken word artists at Poetic Insight, I am filled with immense pride.
First up was Mhairi, a treasured part of the YPI family who was performing at Poetic Insight for the first time. She got deep with us by sharing a poem about getting through mental health struggles and breaking her leg, followed by a poem about a guy.
Elisha and Jessica were also taking to the Poetic Insight stage for the first time. Elisha schooled us all with messages of wisdom and encouragement, while Jessica shared a part of herself with us through her poem Focus, which was about her depression.
Poetic Insight veteran, Sid, performed his veteran poems Terrorist and Prayer for the Oppressed, resulting in everyone clicking away. First time performer, Emma, amazed us all with her raw and honest poem about living with anxiety.
Antonia took a big step sharing her poetry with others for the first time, letting us know how she learned to love herself through her poem Quiet Beauty, before getting us all in our feelings with a poem dedicated to her mum.
Woodzy returned after his Poetic Insight debut last month, making us all laugh with his bars for days by performing Happy Place. Ellie followed, taking to our stage for the first time to remind us of how precious time is.
Poetic Insight veterans Aaron and Annotate were up next. Aaron made us all think by first focusing on fear, performing A Conversation with Fear, then by performing Six Feet Deep, which was a poem about someone whose gift is buried six feet deep. Annotate brought his usual fire, giving us powerful performances of Anomaly and Writers Block, a crowd favourite.
I was last to perform on the night, letting everyone know how much I hate injustice with my poem, Words Cannot Express, and shining a light on some of the prejudices towards women in basketball through the performance of Sexualized Floor General.
The beautiful venue, inspiring poets and engaged audience made it a perfect event and my joint favourite Poetic Insight ever. I hope that more community events like this can take place in libraries and that Poetic Insight will be back at Thornton Heath Arts Week next year, because I loved it.
Poetic Insight will be back again this month at our regular home of Project B, at the regular time of 7-9pm. The theme will be Dreams & Goals, so if you’re a young poet or spoken word artists wanting to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch through social media.
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