Power Lines

A week of stories from Wales on aspects of power.

Episodes

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City20191124

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh takes us on a tour of the booming poetry scene in Birmingham.

From open mics to one of the city's biggest theatres, Amerah talks to the writers and performers turning Birmingham into a poetry power house. She meets people just starting out, emerging talent developing their skills, and artists established in the poetry world.

Young poets tell her about their motivation to perform in public. Emerging poet Shaun Hill speaks about coming up through small gigs and how the city has shaped his poetry. Established performer Jasmine Gardosi discusses two very different sides of Birmingham and Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear, talks about how being a Brummie is still at the heart of his work, even though he moved away.

The poets featured in this episode are:
Shaun Hill
Afrah Yafai
Nafeesa Hamid
Jasmine Gardosi
Bohdan Piasecki
Steven Camden / Polarbear
Holly Bee
Liam O'Rourke

Producers: Tom MacAndrew and Husain Husaini
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh leads a tour of Birmingham's booming poetry scene.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

City2019112420191130 (R4)

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh takes us on a tour of the booming poetry scene in Birmingham.

From open mics to one of the city's biggest theatres, Amerah talks to the writers and performers turning Birmingham into a poetry power house. She meets people just starting out, emerging talent developing their skills, and artists established in the poetry world.

Young poets tell her about their motivation to perform in public. Emerging poet Shaun Hill speaks about coming up through small gigs and how the city has shaped his poetry. Established performer Jasmine Gardosi discusses two very different sides of Birmingham and Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear, talks about how being a Brummie is still at the heart of his work, even though he moved away.

The poets featured in this episode are:
Shaun Hill
Afrah Yafai
Nafeesa Hamid
Jasmine Gardosi
Bohdan Piasecki
Steven Camden / Polarbear
Holly Bee
Liam O'Rourke

Producers: Tom MacAndrew and Husain Husaini
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh leads a tour of Birmingham's booming poetry scene.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

City2019112420191130 (R4)Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh takes us on a tour of the booming poetry scene in Birmingham.

From open mics to one of the city's biggest theatres, Amerah talks to the writers and performers turning Birmingham into a poetry power house. She meets people just starting out, emerging talent developing their skills, and artists established in the poetry world.

Young poets tell her about their motivation to perform in public. Emerging poet Shaun Hill speaks about coming up through small gigs and how the city has shaped his poetry. Established performer Jasmine Gardosi discusses two very different sides of Birmingham and Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear, talks about how being a Brummie is still at the heart of his work, even though he moved away.

The poets featured in this episode are:
Shaun Hill
Afrah Yafai
Nafeesa Hamid
Jasmine Gardosi
Bohdan Piasecki
Steven Camden / Polarbear

Producers: Tom MacAndrew and Husain Husaini
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh leads a tour of Birmingham's booming poetry scene.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh takes us on a tour of the booming poetry scene in Birmingham.

From open mics to one of the city's biggest theatres, Amerah talks to the writers and performers turning Birmingham into a poetry power house. She meets people just starting out, emerging talent developing their skills, and artists established in the poetry world.

Young poets tell her about their motivation to perform in public. Emerging poet Shaun Hill speaks about coming up through small gigs and how the city has shaped his poetry. Established performer Jasmine Gardosi discusses two very different sides of Birmingham and Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear, talks about how being a Brummie is still at the heart of his work, even though he moved away.

The poets featured in this episode are:
Shaun Hill
Afrah Yafai
Nafeesa Hamid
Jasmine Gardosi
Bohdan Piasecki
Steven Camden / Polarbear

Producers: Tom MacAndrew and Husain Husaini
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet and proud Brummie Amerah Saleh leads a tour of Birmingham's booming poetry scene.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Class20191208Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz explores contemporary working class poetics

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Class20191208Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz looks at working class poetics, talking to poets across the UK about their work and how performing poetry shows has been an avenue into theatre and page poetry for many who would have otherwise been excluded due to class.

Poets:
Bridget Minamore
Fran Lock
Toria Garbutt
Anthony Anaxagorou
Wayne Holloway Smith
Jamie Thrasivoulou

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz on contemporary working class poetics.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Class2019120820191214 (R4)Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz looks at working class poetics, talking to poets across the UK about their work and how performing poetry shows has been an avenue into theatre and page poetry for many who would have otherwise been excluded due to class.

Poets:
Bridget Minamore
Fran Lock
Toria Garbutt
Anthony Anaxagorou
Wayne Holloway Smith
Jamie Thrasivoulou

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4

Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz on contemporary working class poetics.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Culture20191203

As poetry events, audiences and online views of performances multiply, poet and performer Yomi Ṣode looks at the cultures around poetry. Talking to poets where they make their work he finds that community inspires and supports new and established writers but that finding a voice can be both thrilling and painful.

Yomi hears from Kareem Parkins-Brown about winning the Roundhouse 2019 poetry slam, but still feeling like an imposter and trying to integrate his world with the poetry world. Bridget Minamore speaks about the costs of code-switching: shifting from one linguistic and cultural register to another. Sola Browne talks about the influence of mentors and performs at BoxedIN an open mic event run by Yomi where the crowd is loud and first timers and circuit stars feed off the audience energy. Malika Booker and Nick Makoha talk about craft, the global and historical community of poets and hard work.

The poets featured in this episode are:

Sola Browne
Kareen Parkins-Brown
Malika Booker
Nick Makoha
Bridget Minamore
Yomi Sode

Producer: Natalie Steed
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring
A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

Poet and performer Yomi \u1e62ode looks at the dynamic cultures surrounding contemporary poetry

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Culture2019120320191207 (R4)

As poetry events, audiences and online views of performances multiply, poet and performer Yomi Ṣode looks at the cultures around poetry. Talking to poets where they make their work he finds that community inspires and supports new and established writers but that finding a voice can be both thrilling and painful.

Yomi hears from Kareem Parkins-Brown about winning the Roundhouse 2019 poetry slam, but still feeling like an imposter and trying to integrate his world with the poetry world. Bridget Minamore speaks about the costs of code-switching: shifting from one linguistic and cultural register to another. Sola Browne talks about the influence of mentors and performs at BoxedIN an open mic event run by Yomi where the crowd is loud and first timers and circuit stars feed off the audience energy. Malika Booker and Nick Makoha talk about craft, the global and historical community of poets and hard work.

The poets featured in this episode are:

Sola Browne
Kareen Parkins-Brown
Malika Booker
Nick Makoha
Bridget Minamore
Yomi Sode

Producer: Natalie Steed
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring
A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

Poet and performer Yomi \u1e62ode looks at the dynamic cultures surrounding contemporary poetry

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

Culture2019120320191207 (R4)As poetry events, audiences and online views of performances multiply, poet and performer Yomi Ṣode looks at the cultures around poetry. Talking to poets where they make their work he finds that community inspires and supports new and established writers but that finding a voice can be both thrilling and painful.

Yomi hears from Kareem Parkins-Brown about winning the Roundhouse 2019 poetry slam, but still feeling like an imposter and trying to integrate his world with the poetry world. Bridget Minamore speaks about the costs of code-switching: shifting from one linguistic and cultural register to another. Sola Browne talks about the influence of mentors and performs at BoxedIN an open mic event run by Yomi where the crowd is loud and first timers and circuit stars feed off the audience energy. Malika Booker and Nick Makoha talk about craft, the global and historical community of poets and hard work.

The poets featured in this episode are:

Sola Browne
Kareen Parkins-Brown
Malika Booker
Nick Makoha
Bridget Minamore
Yomi Sode

Producer: Natalie Steed
Executive Producer: Sally Spurring
A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

Poet and performer Yomi \u1e62ode looks at the dynamic cultures surrounding contemporary poetry

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

0120171120Poet Inua Ellams looks at how spoken word is tied to location.

Poet and playwright Inua Ellams looks at how place plays out in spoken word poetry with writers from Orkney, Manchester, Salford and Donaghadee in Northern Ireland.

Inua talks to poet and performer Harry Giles about language, literary baggage and growing up LGBT in Orkney. Writer Elmi Ali and members of the Young Identity collective tell him what it means to be a Mancunian poet. And he talks to Rachel McCrum about audiences, accents and nostalgia for the place where you spent your childhood.

The poems featured in this episode are:

Harry Giles "Visa Wedding"
Harry Giles "Drone" with music by Neil Simpson
Kieren King "Salford Is A Broadway Musical"
Rachel McCrum "Broad"
Roma Havers
Shameer Rayes "Reasons"
Damani "Violet Skies"
Isaiah Hull "The Mirror"
Emil Ali "Water Seeds Not Stones" (play extract)
Inua Ellams "Ghetto Van Gogh"
The Midnight Run featuring Kelly Foster (tour guide and Brixton historian)

Producer: Sally Spurring
A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

0120171120Poet Inua Ellams looks at how spoken word is tied to location.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

01Identity And Empathy20171113Poet Sabrina Mahfouz talks to spoken word performers from across the UK.

Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz talks to spoken word performers from across the UK.

In this second episode, Sabrina looks at identity and empathy with poets from Wrexham to Huddersfield and from Birmingham to Southend-On-Sea.

She talks to poet and playwright Yomi Sode about writing with his family and moving from the stage to the page. Welsh writer Sophie McKeand explains how walking in the woods informs her work. Bohdan Piasecki performs a poem in Polish. And Sabrina seeks out Lisa Luxx whose performances are celebrated for their power and connectivity.

The poems featured in this episode are:

Jet Sweeney "RIP(E)"

Yomi Sode "Take It Back" (from the Roundhouse "And Now What" Season)

Yomi Sode "Daily Ijo"

Catherine Wilson "Today I Took A Bus Ride With My Anxiety"

Sophie McKeand "How. To. Ask. For. Help."

Bohdan Piasecki "Cisza"

Lisa Luxx "Grandmother Earth"

Producer: Sally Spurring
A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

01Identity And Empathy20171113Poet Sabrina Mahfouz talks to spoken word performers from across the UK.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

01Politics20171106The dynamic and burgeoning world of UK spoken word poetry.

A series about how the dynamic world of spoken word poetry is thriving in communities across the whole of the UK.

In three programmes, Power Lines explores the escalating popularity of spoken word among audiences who have traditionally avoided poetry altogether. Through politics, identity and place, presenters Sabrina Mahfouz and Inua Ellams look at how spoken word has become the breeding ground for a whole new generation of writers who are changing poetry in the UK. They cross the country talking to poets from Manchester, Huddersfield, Bury, Edinburgh, Bristol and Wrexham, on boats, in forests, theatres, parks and pubs, challenging the assertion that spoken word is, as poet Joelle Taylor puts it, "the dumb cousin of 'real' poetry".

Programme One: Politics
Poet and playwright Inua Ellams talks to spoken word poet Zia Ahmed who deals with his frustration with racism by 'speaking it out'. Peter Bearder explains how some protest poets are being drawn into mainstream politics through the Labour Party. And he finds 23 year old Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan whose slam competition winning poem has been viewed by over two million people online.

The poems featured in the programme are:

JJ Bola "I Found Hip Hop"
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan " This Is Not A Humanising Poem"
Zia Ahmed "Home"
Joelle Taylor "Everything You Have Ever Lost" and "The Correct Spelling of My Name"
Pete (the Temp) Bearder "Manifesto for a Revolutionary Poetic"

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

01Politics20171106The dynamic and burgeoning world of UK spoken word poetry.

Series about the world of spoken word poetry and how it is gaining popularity in the UK.

LS01And Perhaps More2000032020000709by Sian James, read by Simon Harris. Even at his mother's funeral, Glyn still experiences feelings of guilt.
LS02Fog2000032120000716by Sue Morgan, read by Sara McGaughey.

Should Elin settle for a life shaped by the strong pull of home?

LS03Buried Treasure2000032220000723by Don Rodgers, read by Patrick Brennan. The power of pain divides two young brothers.
LS04Meteorites2000032320000730by Tessa Hadley. The power of passion beneath the surface of a suburban marriage.
LS05Waiting For Perestroika2000032420000806by Gee Williams, read by Siw Hughes. The patrons of a mobile library fight for paperback romances. But for one man the power of words is life and death.
LS05 LASTWaiting For Perestroika2000032420000806by Gee Williams, read by Siw Hughes. The patrons of a mobile library fight for paperback romances. But for one man the power of words is life and death.