It is a great pleasure to have Sam Berkson on board the first run of The Poetic Debaters Project.
Sam has been performing poetry since 2002, and published a debut collection with Influx Press in 2012. He has since written commissioned collections on the subjects of Ridley Road market for Fishbar Gallery and on his experiences in Western Saharan refugee camps for Olive Branch Arts. He has been poetry slam champion at Brighton Festival and for Liverpool’s year of Capital of Culture, touring the UK at gigs and festivals, including Queen Elizabeth Hall, Latitude, Hay-on-Wye and Bestival and performing a solo show at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Internationally, he has been a visiting poet at Grant McKewan University, Canada and Kaos Pilots International School in Denmark. Currently collaborating on the Arts Council funded Poetry of Madness
project, he performs under the stage name Angry Sam.
A qualified secondary school English teacher, Sam has nine years experience teaching in inner-city schools. As an informal educator and workshop facilitator, he has been a poet-coach for the Olympic-funded Shake The Dust
project, taking a team of Year 9 students to the London slam final and was featured alongside fellow poet, Chris Beschi, in a Guardian Education Article about poets who work in school
“Sam has the rare gift of being informed and intelligent without being condescending. His poetry delivers his opinions, but in a way that seems to care about yours. His poetry is warm and honest and well crafted. He is a good poet, a poet in the true sense of the word.”
– Kate Tempest, poet
“Year 9s are won over by his conviction and clarity and soon become mesmerised” – Judy Friedberg, The Guardian