What’s Coming Up This November?

We’re already very much into November, which is looking like a quieter month for Young People Insight.  It actually feels weird to only have our two traditional events coming up, with nothing else in store, but it’s nice for things to be a little calmer as we prepare to wind down for the year.

First up, we have the return of The Kickback on its usual third Tuesday.  We’re going to be talking Healthy Relationships, with a focus on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and also violence against women and girls.  We’re going to have a special guest from the arts charity, Tender, to lead out on the conversation with us.

Make sure you’ve got November 20th saved in your diary, rather than November 13th, as I made the mistake of saying at our latest event.  We’ll be back at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm, for more great conversations and more snacks.  You can sign up for free here: bit.ly/letstalkhealthyrelationships

Then a week later, Poetic Insight will be back, but in a brand new home.  We’ll be bringing more inspiring poetry and spoken word to you from Urban XChange Bar & Grill, which is still in Croydon Town Centre and even nearer to East Croydon train station.

This month’s theme is Survival, which I think is going to be powerful and very interesting.  If you want to share your poetry or spoken word, email youngpeopleinsight@gmail.com or you can simply sign up on the night.  Just be sure to be at Urban XChange Bar & Grill from 7-9pm so you don’t miss out.  Get your free tickets now: bit.ly/poeticinsight-survival

We’re in for another month of powerful events, set to inform and inspire.  Be sure to tell a friend to tell a friend, as we love welcoming new faces – a big smile is always in store.  Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Back on Our Black Ish at Poetic Insight

We were back on our Black Ish at Poetic Insight on October 30th, to mark Black History Month.  This was one of my favourite editions of Poetic Insight last year, and this year was no different.  It was a brilliant way to bring Poetic Insight back after the break.

First onstage was the amazing Zhanai, fresh off her performance at Croydon’s first LIP Fest.  She blew us away with her amazing words in a personal poem, called Rest in Peace, and a new poem called Supernova.

Elisha was back on the Poetic Insight stage with another inspirational monologue for us, speaking to us about Cycles and Doubts.

We welcomed Chantae to Poetic Insight for the first time, who first performed a deep poem called Door Handle, followed by a poem written especially for Black History Month, which had everyone clicking in excitement and agreement.

Reii was also on our stage for the first time.  First, she shared a beautiful poem about Maya Angelou, then she broke it down for us with a powerful poem about being a black, Muslim woman.

I’ve seen Adam’s Son perform at a number of poetry nights in Croydon, but this was the first time he performed at Poetic Insight.  He had us all engaged with his rhythmic and powerful spoken word, including a beautifully personal piece about his daughter and the impact she had on his life.

Poetic Insight regular, Mhairi, laid herself bare with a raw and honest poem about her experience with race and family, which I think touched all of us.

Antonia returned to share two powerful poems, starting with A Black Girl’s Epiphany, which fitted right in with our theme, followed by The Tears of an Outspoken Woman.

I performed the final poem of the night, Don’t Box Me In, which is a spoken word piece challenging the perception of what it means to be black.

Thank you to the beautiful Zhanai, Elisha, Chantae, Reii, Adam’s Son, Mhairi and Antonia for sharing on the night, and thank you to all of the beautiful people who came out to watch and support.  An extra special thank you to Darren from Well Versed Ink for acting as our DJ on the night.  I could not do this without any of you.

It was another special and inspiring event, filled with love and I’m already looking forward to this month.  Poetic Insight returns on November 27th from 7-9pm, when the theme will be Survival.  We’ll also be at a new home, so make sure you come along to the Urban XChange Bar & Grill ( 1 Lansdowne Rd, Croydon CR9 2BN) to avoid missing out.  See you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

What’s Coming Up This October?

It’s the first week of October, which means that we’re officially back.  Have you missed us over the past couple of months?  We’ve missed you and are excited to be back with an exciting set of events.

First up is a special collaborative event with Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT) to raise awareness of Trafficking and Modern Slavery, happening just two days before Anti-Slavery Day.

As this is a collaboration, it won’t be a typical YP Insight event.  We’re combining discussion and poetry, with an inter-generational focus, giving individuals from all ages the opportunity to learn from each other.

This is going to be a powerful and informative event, so be sure to save October 16th in your diary.  We’ll be back in Project B from 6.30-8.30pm, and of course we’re bringing the snacks.  Register now so you don’t miss out on the chance to expand your mind and make your voice heard: bit.ly/letstalkabouttrafficking

We are excited to be one of the organisations bringing Croydon’s first ever poetry and spoken word festival to life.  Living in Poetry Festival (LIP Fest) will be taking over Stanley Halls on October 27th and 28th, from 10am to the 27th and 11am on the 28th.

There is something for everyone, of any age, with activities ranging from scratch performances, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, and showcases for all ages and abilities.  And if you’re 14-19, you can sign up to free workshops with our partner organisations, Well Versed Ink and Writerz n Scribez, on Saturdays leading up the festival.  Go to lipfestival.com for more information.

Then we’re back on our Black-Ish at Poetic Insight to celebrate Black History Month.  Last year was beautiful and this year is sure to be even better, so you don’t want to miss it.

We’ll be in Project B on October 30th from 7-9pm, with our traditional open mic format particularly for young people aged 16-26.  If you want to share your poetry or spoken word, email youngpeopleinsight@gmail.com or you can sign up on the night.  In the meantime, get your free tickets here: bit.ly/poeticinsight-blackish18

It’s going to be a powerful and enjoyable month of events, which I am really looking forward to.  I am also looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces after such a long time, so that will make the events even better.  As usual, you will be greeted by a smile and a hug from me.  Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Pure Fire from Young Talent at Poetic Insight

There was a double dose of Poetic Insight in July, as our regular monthly night took place on July 31st after coming to Thornton Heath Arts Week (THAW) for the first time two weeks prior.

I love poetry, so it was great to have two poetry events to see out Young People Insight’s activities before going on my extended break.  And boy, did we see out our events with a bang.  I fully mean it when I say that if you were not there, you missed out.  It was pure fire.

Returning to the Poetic Insight stage for the second time that month – following his THAW debut – was Elisha with his usual words of wisdom, encouraging us to connect with people.

Like Elisha, Antonia debuted for us at THAW and had us up in our feelings again by sharing a beautiful poem dedicated to her late cousin.  Antonia displayed incredibly bravery, as her cousin only passed away during the weekend and she managed to get through the piece without crying.

Veteran, Aaron, encouraged us all to never give up, utilising his wonderful way with words to inspire us all.  Second time performer, Emma, continued to display bravery and honesty as she gave us a greater insight into who she is with a gorgeously deep poem.

Aaron James took to the Poetic Insight stage for the first time and brought fire with a real, raw messages that made us all think.  Ada was real and raw as well, delivering a strong poem about knife crime.

We were happy to welcome Kris back to our stage, who had us all engaged and clicking away with his bars on the mic.  It was amazing to watch him bring a two-way conversation to life through spoken word.

The night then elevated to an even higher level when Annotate blew us all away, and branded me speechless, with a powerful new poem that told a hard-hitting story.  Mhairi then brought us to tears with a poem dedicated to fellow member of the YP Insight family, Samirah, who also sat crying in the audience – that is friendship goals right there.

Then Woodzy came and brought down the house with his spoken word poem, 90s Baby, which got everyone clicking and shouting out in excitement.  The level of nostalgia was unbelievable, and coupled with his amazing delivery, made it one of my favourite moments ever.

Although I didn’t intend to perform, I shared the final poems of the night – I was encouraged by everyone in the audience, because it was my last event in a while.  First, I  shared a poem about three treasured family members who died in the past two years, as it is my goal to get to Heaven and part of the reason is to see them again.  Then I shared a short poem about my transition from darkness to light.

I want to say a huge thank you to the beauties who performed on the night, and all the beauties who came out to support.  I could not do any of this without any of you and it is truly a pleasure to know you amazing people.

As I mentioned earlier, I am going on an extended break to take time to heal, so Poetic Insight will not be back until October.  This is also going to be the last post until October, but please look back on our past posts and get some great insights into what young people are saying and thinking.

If you would like to stay in contact, meet up on a social level, or get updated on when we’re coming back, email shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or follow @ShanqMarie on Twitter and DM me, as the YP Insight social media will be inactive as well.  See you beautiful people in October.

Poetic Insight Comes to Thornton Heath Arts Week

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 youngpeopleinsight@gmail.com or get in touch through social media.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

What’s Coming Up This July?

Summer is actually here and it is beautiful.  Have you been enjoying this full on dose of sunshine?  I know I have.  It’s not just the sun that is making July beautiful though – the events YPI has in store will be making July beautiful as well.

After two great sessions, TCFT Croydon 2018 comes to an end on July 15th.  I know, I can’t believe the last one is almost here either, it has gone by so fast.  The workshops will be continuing, culminating with a sharing of the work created in a performance open to all members of the community.  I got a taste of the work everyone has started so far and it is gorgeous, so I would definitely recommend coming along.

The performance will be taking place from 5.30-7pm in the XChange Function Room on Lansdowne Road in Croydon Town Centre.  Please come and support if you can.  Look out for more information on the TCFT Croydon Facebook page.

Photo by Peter Ball and used with permission.

For the first time ever, Poetic Insight will be coming to Thornton Heath and I am beyond excited, as Thornton Heath just happens to be the place I call home.  The event will be held during Thornton Heath Arts Week, giving young poets and spoken word artists an opportunity to make their voices heard.

Our evening of poetry will be taking place at Thornton Heath Library on July 17th, with doors opening at 6pm for a 6.30pm start and 8pm finish.  Email youngpeopleinsight@gmail.com if you would like to perform, but if you just want to enjoy some poetry from the audience, you can get your free tickets here: bit.ly/poeticinsight-thaw

The Kickback returns to its usual standalone format on July 24th, a week later due to our event during Thornton Heath Arts Week.  We’re talking ‘Goals’ this month, hearing from young people doing inspiring and positive things.  Come ready to learn, ask questions and think about your own goals.

We’ll be at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm with the snacks and a number of interesting faces.  This edition of The Kickback is always a great one, so you will not want to miss it.  Let us know you’re coming by registering here: bit.ly/lets-talk-goals

Our final event of the month will be the traditional Poetic Insight, at its usual home of Project B on the usual last Tuesday of the month.  Keeping in line with The Kickback, the theme will be ‘Dreams & Goals’, which I think is going to be really interesting and inspiring.

We’re also back to our traditional open mic format after last month’s special event celebrating peace, so if you would like to share your poetry, email youngpeopleinsight@gmail.com or you can sign up on the night.  Be sure to save the date of July 31st, with the time of 7-9pm, because it is a little while away.  You can get your free tickets here: bit.ly/poeticinsight-dreams-goals

Keep enjoying the sunshine (and the football if you’re watching).  I really hope to see your beautiful faces at, at least one, of our events this month, as these are going to be the last YPI events for a little while – I am in need of a serious break.  Remember that a hug and a big smile from me will be there waiting for you.  See you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Another Beautiful Night at Poetic Insight: Mental Health 2018

Wrapping up May’s focus on mental health was Poetic Insight on the 29th.  This was an event I was really looking forward to after last year’s raw, beautiful Poetic Insight: Mental Health, and this year delivered another beautiful night, despite being different to the last one.

Clouds were covering up the shining sun from May 2017 and the night’s line up was smaller than the previous year, but the raw words expressed, emotion conveyed and talent displayed remained the same.

Miss Yankey graced the Poetic Insight stage for the first time at our mental health themed night in 2017, and she was back in 2018 to deliver another powerful performance.  She went in deep as always with a performance of a poem about mental health and domestic violence.

Coming to the Poetic Insight stage for the very first time was Clemmie, who shared a really beautiful poem, filled with wonderful words, about the personal struggles that come with mental issues.

Kris also returned to Poetic Insight, going in with a deep performance of a poem about masculinity, which in itself has ties to mental health.

I began the night by performing a poem entitled Me and Myself, which I wrote especially for the night, about the internal battle attacking my mind.  To end the night, I shared my story of how I had been battling with mental health issues and how I was still battling them, rounding it off with my poem The Beautiful, Brutal Blade, about my struggle with self-harm.

However, what made the night so beautiful for me was watching the different connections forming around the room.  A part of me didn’t even want to start the performances, because I was loving all of the conversations that were happening and relationships starting to develop.  For me, that is the key part of what Young People Insight is all about.  I hope the conversations keep going, the connections strengthen and the relationships continue to grow.

Poetic Insight will be joining with The Kickback when it returns on June 19th for a very special event as part of Croydon’s Festival of Peace.  We’ve got three amazing feature poets, as well as the traditional open mic, so stay tuned for more information.  You are going to love it.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.