PDP At the Bar – Coming Soon

The Poetic Debaters project has been quiet for a while. It will be back with an over 18’s agenda as we take the poetic debate to the bar where, over your favourite beverage,  we will be debating via poetry some of the hottest topics in the mainstream to date.  We hav a a fantastic line up of poets and spoken word artist so watch this space!
PDP at the bar – Coming Soon!


PDP Pilot Documentary – Film by 2Dice Productionz

Film- maker, Juliette Dalton from 2DiceProductionz, arrived on day 3 with a enthusiasm reflecting her passion for projects such as PDP. This energy  is so invaluable to other independent project makers like myself.  What was intended to be 3 minute promo was edited in to a 10 minute docu-film about the PDP pilot because her mission is providing platforms for young people’s voices. The poets did not disappoint her. It was to be a concentrated day of packed with writing, performance techniques and debate strategizing.

Watch the PDP poets, myself and Sam Berkson talk about the resonance of  training days. Great result. Thank you 2Dice!

~ Zena

Day 3 of PDP Poets training and their performances for Pop Up Ironbridge

Day 3
In the morning, the t-shirts arrive – Yes!PDP t-shirts phone pic


Day three was about editing the poems, honing  strategies  for team debating and devising performances. The poets worked really hard in such a short space of time to manifest methods for creativity to shine through debating structures. Listen to the poets poems generated in the training session while watching a slide show of  them and of the PDP event at Ironbridge.

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On the day, everyone delivered strong performances. Well done all!

Watch Russeni and Greer perform at The Forge for the first ever Poetic Debate Event.

The Poetic Debaters Training Days @ Free Word!

The Poetic Debaters Project for Pop Up Festival of Stories went live on the 15th April.

PDP pop Up Massive shrops marlem shake 2

(Top row formt he left) Angelina, Greer, Sam, Gabriel, Russeni, (kneeling) Zena, Orla, Ruth, Lana (Naga had to leave early)

Finally, the first proper training days began at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, London. Sam and I had had four or five meetings to structure the sessions to include the right types of exercises and structures to make the training solid. Now that we were ready to deliver the pilot, it felt like we had been doing this forever.

Days 1 and 2
Lots of discussion
and playing of word games around the theme of freedom of speech with newspaper article, online searches and quotes to begin getting to grips with the deeper sub-themes. Through discussion the group decides that the motion will be “This house believes there should be a limit to Freedom of speech”.
How is this motion problematic? Continue reading

Freedom Of Speech – Podcast with Mazin Saleem

The theme  that Poetic Debaters will be challenged for  Pop Up is Freedom of Speech.

Here is an interview with English PEN Programmer Mazin Saleem, speaking about the important work PEN International does to raise awareness around writers, poets and journalists imprisoned for their work and the relevance of Freedom of speech as a principle.

The times of the questions have been noted here.
00:08  –  What are the fundamental principles of Freedom of Speech
01:57   –   Satire – One person’s joke is another person’s insult
03:39  –  The opposite of Free Speech?
04:26  –   Does class have an effect on your right to freedom of speech?
05:40  –  What work does English PEN do?
07:40  –  Writers’ responsibilities to other writers – Case study  Enoh Meyomesse
09:30  – How do you think being imprisoned might effect a writers writing?
10:41  –  What kind of reasons do people get imprisoned for?
11.32  –  Freedom of Speech in the UK
12:32  –  What are the overt ‘cons’ to Freedom of Speech?
13:36  –  What happens when freedom of speech is genderised, racialised or put in generational categories?
14:52  –  What is the value of freedom of speech in terms of our development as human beings?

What are your immediate thoughts?  What poem could you draft  from your immediate thoughts?

Poetry Prompt
“You ask this tongue to understand chains and it replies…”
“Stop your words, there are no ears  to catch them here because…”

~ Zena

Gabriel Akamo – PDP Poet

-4And the Poetic Debaters Pop Up team is near completion. We welcome Gabriel Akamo!

Gabriel is a young poet and performer from North London. One of the winners of SLAMbassadors slam poetry competition by the Poetry Society in 2012, Gabriel has performed alongside Joelle Taylor and Dizraeli at the 100 Club  showcase night Performed at Literature Along the Thames, Tongue Fu ,  Keats’ House Festival in 2012,  Rich Mix, Portcullis House in Westminster for Parliament Week and at  the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Other performances include recording classic love poetry and an original work for the  Peace Camp 2012 project with Fiona Shaw CBE.

Gabriel’s  keen interest in theatre, drives him to develop his writing skills and experience  for theatre stages  He has performed an original theatrical spoken word piece inspired by the 2011 production of Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare’s Globe. He is currently taking part in the NT Connections  Festival at the Artsdepot, North Finchley (and hopefully at the National Theatre). Some of his influences are  Great War poets such as Owen, Rosenberg and Sassoon and recorded an original piece  Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition launching in May 2014; the exhibition is by London’s Transport Museum as part of their First World War Centenary celebrations. Gabriel’s Christian faith and upbringing is a key influence on his work and a constant source of inspiration.


Israel (Exodus 19)

Before we crossed the desert
And arrived at the river,
The red sunset left our beaten brows ablaze with brazen cries, Continue reading

PDP Poet Angelina Chudi

-7Great to have you as part of the mission, Angelina!

As an actor, Angelina is already accustomed to putting on performances. But upon discovering poetry in October 2013 she was exposed to a whole new world and has been hooked ever since. Angelina is a member of poetry writing class, Poets Platform, through them she gained the skill and confidence to perform at various poetry events such as BoxediN and Word4Word’s 10th Anniversary. Her background in acting and performance can always ensure that she’s one to watch!

Sometimes I just want to run away

To where? I couldn’t tell you
I just wanna run
To run and run and run
Run until the drumming of my heart echos the beat, the beat, the beat of my feet Continue reading