Sat 26 Aug 2023


Edmond J. Safra

Fountain Court

The cross-disciplinary artist, curator and poet brings his Rhythm and Poetry Party to the courtyard for an afternoon of inspired poetry and hip hop.

What might eloquent voices from contemporary poetry and spoken word movements have to say about hip hop’s past, present and future? Come chill and find out at Inua Ellams’ Brigter Vibes Rhythm and Poetry Party, a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss afternoon of hip-hop inspired poems and classic tracks.

The format is simple: nine poets share a poem that engages any aspect of hip hop culture. The DJ then plays two hip hop tracks – or songs featuring rappers – that link to the poem.

A collage photo of the participating poets in the RAP Party - Esme Allman, Ollie O'Neill, Jess Murrain, Bridget Minamore, Kareem Parkins-Brown, Ben Norris, Asim the Poet, Lola Oh and Chika Jones

Esme Allman is a poet, theatre maker and facilitator based in south east London. Her work has appeared at the Barbican, English Heritage and the ICA, on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6. She’s a former Resident Artist at the Roundhouse, where she wrote and performed her one-woman show Delectably Red in June 2022.

Ollie O’Neill is a poet and writer from London, currently studying an MA in writing at The Royal College of Art. She’s a former National Youth Slam Champion, a Barbican Young Poet alumna, and has been published in journals such as MagmaBath Magg and Fourteen Poems, as well as having read her work at venues such as Soho Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and the ICA. In 2019, her first pamphlet Ways of Coping was published by Out-Spoken Press.

Jess Murrain is a queer, interdisciplinary creative of dual British-Caribbean heritage. Her work spans poetry, film, theatre and live art. She is co-founder of Theatre with Legs, an experimental performance company based in Bradford and London, whose new work NEUROQUEER is in development. Jess was part of the inaugural year of Southbank New Poets Collective (2021-2022). In 2021 she won the Ledbury Poetry Prize and was awarded Silver in the Creative Future Writers’ Award. In March 2023 Jess won the Out-Spoken Prize for her poetry-film Stageplay. Her debut pamphlet One Woman-Horse Show was published in 2022 by Bad Betty Press.

Bridget Minamore is a British-Ghanaian writer from south east London. Titanic (Out-Spoken Press), her debut pamphlet of poems on modern love and loss, was published in 2016. She is currently working on a new collection while working in film and television.

Kareem Parkins-Brown is a writer and visual artist. A proud north west Londoner and Barbican alumni, he was shortlisted for Young People’s Laureate for London, the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2019.

Ben Norris is an award-winning writer and actor from Nottingham. He’s the author of two poetry pamphlets, a double UK National Poetry Slam Champion, and the voice of Ben Archer in The Archers on BBC Radio 4.

Asim the Poet is a multi-award winning spoken word artist, host, singer, author and motivational speaker. He delivers a wide range of topics, from hard-hitting stories to light-hearted poems, conveying powerful messages to help inspire and motivate others. Asim has performed across various media formats and multiple stages, including BBC Radio 4, FloVortex, OpenFlo, Just Rhyme and Hayati Open Mic.

Lola Oh is a Brit(ish) poet, writer and facilitator, born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father. Shortlisted for this year’s White Review Poet’s Prize and currently a member of Griot’s Well, she’s a Roundhouse Poetry Collective alumna, a Barbican Young Poet alumna and a 2021 Roundhouse Slam Finalist.

Chika Jones is a performance poet and the founder of Medway Poetry Night. He came to the UK from Nigeria in December 2021 and was endorsed by Arts Council England. He is currently working on his debut collection and toured the Medway with the theatre production Soul Food in 2022. He has been performing poetry for over a decade.

A truly fluid literary event not just mingling poetry and music together seamlessly, but also bringing different tribes of poets, ages, races, genders, styles together. You will be moved in your heart and in your head.

Roger Robinson


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