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Meet the Poets

Meet the Poets, does just that - gives you the chance to find out a bit more about poets who are striving to share their passion and enthusiasm of poetry with all. Some have publishing contracts, some run poetry workshops, clubs, websites or magazines, others are spoken word performers or laureates for their town or city. However, they are all united in their love of poetry, their desire to inspire others with their words and are actively promoting poetry in the UK today.

Ana Sampson Interview

Author of 'Poems to Learn of by Heart' and 'Tyger Tyger'.

Ana Sampson has a BA and MA in English Literature and works in publishing. She compiled the third bestselling poetry book of 2009, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud: And Other Poems You Half-Remember From School, and the follow - up Tyger Tyger, Burning Bright: Much-Loved Poems You Half Remember in 2012. Her anthologies have combined sales of over 100,000 copies and she is an experienced broadcaster on television and radio.


Daren Peary AKA (Biggy Attitood)

This is my poetry world and I would just like to say a few words about it.

I have lived in Hertfordshire all my life (nearly 50 years this November) and I am married with two children. I have had quite a few jobs including Hairdresser/Care Worker /Mental Health support worker/ Chef/Social Worker/ Youth Worker/ Education Support Worker/ Children with ASD and Disabilities.


Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background. He was born and raised in London then Sheffield. He has won several prestigious prizes for his poetry. In 2004, he won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem with Look We Have Coming to Dover!


Nicki Heinen

Nicki Heinen is a London-based writer who was born in 1977. She studied English at Girton College Cambridge, where she won the Barbra Wrigley Prize for Poetry. She received a PGCE from Nottingham University in 2002 and went on to teach English and Drama at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.  


Bev Walsh

Bev started writing poetry five years ago to perform at a local open mic night; since then she has performed at the Edinburgh Festival, Speakeasy, Spoken Word events and festivals, gaining quite a reputation along the way.


Tamsin Kendrick

Tamsin Kendrick is a south London poet and ghost-writer who has been performing poetry up and down the country and sometimes beyond for the last ten years. Tamsin Kendrick's first collection Charismatic Megafauna was published with Penned in the Margins in January 2009 and went on to win a commendation from the Forward Prize for her poem Peter Pan Versus Captain Hook.


Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett lives and works in London, where he grew up. He writes performance poetry and short fiction, and is currently working on his first novel. He was both Farrago’s London and UK Slam! Champion in 2010, and a semi-finalist in the World Cup Slam in Bobigny, Paris. Highlights of the year include performing at Warsaw’s Spoke’n’Word Festival. He also facilitates workshops and mentors young people in schools.


Andrew Barber

After twenty years of writing poetry and doing almost nothing with it, Andrew was persuaded by his daughter Esina to enter the first Poetry Rivals competition, which he won in April 2010, beating 7,000 other poets en route to the final. His prize was a publishing contract, and his first collection of poems, titled 'Reflections from a Broken Mirror', was launched in October 2010.


A F Harrold

A F Harrold is a multiple slam winner, top UK performance poet, regularly appearing at poetry clubs around the UK and on various radio shows. He's also a respected published poet with several collections to his name.


Hollie McNish

Hollie McNish was the UK SLAM! Champion 2008/09 and went on to place 3rd in the World Cup of SLAM! in Paris, as well as winning the Glastonbury Festival Slam and appearing as a feature performer at Farrago's regular London shows as well as numerous other events and venues around the UK.


Mark Niel

Mark Niel, is a comic poet and poetry organiser who has won poetry slams all over the UK and set up and hosts Milton Keynes' successful poetry night Tongue in Chic.


Deanna Rodger

Deanna Rodger won the UK SLAM! Championships at her first attempt in 2007 when she was only 18 years old and has gone on to perform at the World Cup of Slam, Farrago Poetry, as well as numerous venues around the UK and hosted the Lyric Lounge event for young poets at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. She was a finalist in the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam Competition.


Mark Grist

Mark Grist is a Peterborough teacher, performance poet, (who reached 2009's UK SLAM! Championship finals), and poetry activist, and from March 2009 was also his town's first slam master and host. Mark is also one half of the poetry team 'Dead Poets', whose spoken word act was a huge hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.


Harry Baker

18-year old rapper-turned-poet on a whirlwind adventure since winning the Edinburgh Fringe festival Poetry Slam. Has made listeners laugh and cry within the same minute, and entertained audiences of all ages with raps about Lego, poems about prime numberss and some spoken word sunshine.
see more at www.youtube.com/harrybakerpoetry.


Catherine Brogan

'Catherine is witty, wise and a great entertainer. Her poetry makes the personal political & the political personal'
Paul Burston, Time Out


Ben Mellor

Ben Mellor is the founder and artistic director of Moksha, and a founder of Pen-ultimate. He is an award-winning slam poet, as well as a writer, performer and workshop facilitator. He won the BBC Radio 4 National Poetry Slam in 2009 and the Dike Omeje Slam Poetry Award 2008. Ben has performed his work at theatres and festivals both nationally and internationally, and has had poems and short stories published by Corporate Watch and Route.



Richard Grant is better known as Dreadlockalien, the slam and performance poet and former Birmingham poet laureate as well as a host of BBC Radio 4 Slam Poetry. Dreadlockalien is also Co-Director of Colour Free Visions Theatre, a founding member of the New October Poets, curator of the 'Art 4 Social Change' collection of ethnic art and Co-Director of the UK Schools' Poetry Slam Championships.


Greg Cox - Editor of The Cannon's Mouth

Greg Cox is the current editor of Cannon Poets' quarterly journal 'The Cannon's Mouth'. Since 1983, Cannon Poets have met monthly at the MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham. However, due to the extended closure of Midland Arts Centre, since April 2008 they now meet at Moseley Community Development Trust, The Post Office Building, 149-153, Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP.


Charlie Jordan

Charlie is a poet, radio presenter, event host and workshop facilitator. She's presented on Radio 1, Radio 2, BBC London, LBC, Capital FM and Heart FM to mention but a few.  Charlie was Birmingham's Poet Laureate for 2007/8. For further information on Charlie and her projects visit www.charliejordan.co.uk - we recommend the audio section, where you can hear Charlie performing some of her poems.


Jo Bell

Jo is a writer and performer, live literature producer and manager of creative projects across the UK. Her main job is to co-ordinate National Poetry Day for which she is the Director. She is also a director of Living Derby and the writer in residence for the Royal Derby Hospital. Jo was the website poet-in-residence at this year's Glastonbury Festival.


John Paul O'Neill

John Paul O'Neill, is the founder and director of Farrago Poetry and was the first person to run a poetry slam in the UK in 1994. He hosts Farrago's regular shows in London and has performed his poetry around the UK and internationally, was the first poet from Britain to compete in the US National Slam Championships and to host the Nuyorican Poets Café slam in New York.


Tony Stringfellow

Tony Stringfellow is a respected poet, writer, novelist, artist and specialist prop maker - not to mention a father, husband, successful businessman and DJ. He has had several books published and runs the Poetry Train, regular spoken word events in and around Wolverhampton.


Anna Freeman

Anna Freeman is the Farrago 2010 Summer Slam Champion. She is a multiple slam-winning poet, having poetised to victory in places including Bristol, Bath, Manchester, London, Seattle and Vancouver. She was individual champion of The Bristol Poetry Festival All-Star Slam 2009, and in 2010 will return to the slam as guest poet and judge.


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