Exploring Bradford’s emerging spoken-word counter culture, journalist, writer and artist Kirran Shah enters the intimate spaces where local people share their life stories.

She’s on a journey back to her home town, seeking to discover if there’s a way she can belong in Bradford. Her first few visits to some of these pop-up club nights are terrifying. Can she dare to take her turn at the open mic?

Smartphones are switched off, the lights are dimmed and the performances begin. Poetry, rap, song and stories - all are welcome, truthfulness is appreciated. People are applauded for courage, self-expression and for making real-life connections. It's the antithesis to online messaging.

Slowly and gradually, Kirran discovers a thriving, inclusive community that is a celebration of human connection. It’s very different from the Bradford she remembers.

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4

Journalist Kirran Shah explores the spirit of Bradford's spoken-word counter culture.