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What's on


Photo of Danny Chivers

Photo of Danny Chivers

21 NOV: Spoken Word Double Bill at Free Word (doors 6.30pm)

'Pete The Temp Vs Climate Change' by Pete The Temp and 'Arrest That Poet!' by Danny Chivers

renaissance one with Free Word present two one-person shows on direct action and climate change: 

‘Pete the Temp Vs Climate Change': Pete The Temp is a poet, a lover and a damn fine administrator! Watch him solve the climate change using only his mouth! His new one-man show is a timely piece that mixes poetry, stand up and observations from a real life activist. A personal tale of temp jobs, bank sieges, oil orgies and arrest.  Will he succeed?  Writtten and performed by Pete The Temp.…

Poetry’s answer to Mark Thomas' Chortle

‘Pete The Temp’s remarkable 'spoken word' show is challenging, inspiring, terrifying and amusing audiences across Britain….it's performance with a purpose.’ The Ecologist

ARREST THAT POET! Have you ever climbed up a power station, D-locked yourself to a construction company’s staircase or been sued for £5 million? Until recently, slam poet Danny Chivers certainly hadn’t. So how did a bookish boy from Bristol end up dodging security guards, battling criminal charges and trying not to thump Richard Madeley, all in the name of a safer planet? Storytelling meets poetry in this darkly funny true tale of rhyming and rebellion.  Written and performed by Danny Chivers.

**** "Exciting, enraging and inspiring...he changed the way I perceive activists." ThreeWeeks 

***** "Genuine and passionate, a must-see...makes this serious subject matter not just light-hearted but bordering on hilarious." edfringereview.com 

Pete The Temp Vs Climate Change is part of an England Tour funded by Arts Council England and produced by renaissance one.  Read more here

Poet Patience Agbabi writes and performs The Wife of Bafa

AUTUMN 2014: Jean 'Binta' Breeze in England

Giving readings and performances and mentoring young talent

JEAN 'BINTA' BREEZE is a poet, choreographer and director who has performed worldwide and is a recipient of an MBE for Services to Literature.  Her latest Book-DVD of poems is Third World Girl published by Bloodaxe.  Jean will next be visiting England from Jamaica in October and November.  As well as giving solo readings, Jean will be performing as part of the trio Three The Hard Way with Alison Dunne and Lydia Towsey, and will be in the role of Patron of Showcase Smoothie, the groundbreaking mental health and literature project, which renaissance one is also involved in as a Producer.

AUTUMN 2014: Mark Gwynne Jones's new ahow 'Wordworms!'

new show for ages 7 to 107. A delight for children and adults alike.

From autumn 2014 to summer 2015, award-winning poet Mark Gwynne Jones will be presenting a new show, Wordworms! for ages 7 to 107, exploring the magic and the possibilities of words and playing with what's important and not so important in contemporary culture. 

If I were a poet... I’d turn celebrities / into thin air / then sell them on eBay / in a jam jar!

Offering wild imaginings and exhilarating performance, Mark invites you to meet the boy with an eye on his index finger, learn to escape school by becoming a cat, and to make friends with a giant toad! 

When asked about the title of his show and why he writes for young people, Mark says “Words are alive… They’re Wordworms! Living creatures... They change the way we think and feel. They’re magic and can pretty much change anything! Young people respond well to my poetry. They enjoy its energy, playful irreverence and sense of danger. I think we’re hardwired for narrative, everyone loves a good story!”


25 and 26 October: London Is The Place For Me

A Caribbean weekend festival of literature, music and limin'

renaissance one and Tilt in partnership with Carnival Village present LONDON IS THE PLACE FOR ME 2014, an exciting Caribbean festival at the Tabernacle, London, which presents writers, calypsonians, orators and musicians who have been inspired by home, diaspora and personal stories.  Starting from 12pm each day at the Tabernacle, London, the sparkling programme of film screenings, literature performances and talks, family workshops and kids events includes contributions by MERVYN MORRIS, JOHN AGARD, JEAN ‘BINTA’ BREEZE, KEI MILLER, MONIQUE ROFFEY, ABDUL MALIK, THOMAS GLAVE, TRACIE MORRIS, ANTHONY JOSEPH, MALIKA BOOKERWOMEN OF STEEL, TOBAGO CRUSOE, ALEXANDER D GREAT, IAN DIEFFENTHALLERCHARLIE DARK, RAYMOND ANTROBUS, MELANIE ABRAHAMS, SURESHOT and special guests.


A snapshot of our events in 2013

18 OCTOBER: We Talk of Pride and Prejudice

A spoken word event for Off The Shelf Festival

renaissance one presents WE TALK OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a unique Literature and Spoken Word show in which a talented group of local writers aged 15 to 21 years share a stage with leading poets Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE, Mark Gwynne Jones and Sureshot and all offer their own personal take on the theme of Pride and Prejudice. This show offers playful, witty, soulful and provocative responses to the Jane Austen novel and the book’s central themes in its bicentenary year.  It is part of a new intergenerational project for Sheffield residents and artists to engage them in literature, orality and sharing stories, and is developed by renaissance one in partnership with Writing Yorkshire and Off The Shelf. 

Photo of Jessica Care Moore

Photo of Jessica Care Moore


a forum for creativity, connecting and sharing

Creative Salon is a relaxing and stimulating forum for all who work in, support, or are interested in, poetry and spoken word. At our salon in October 2013, the US-based poet, publisher and rock star Jessica Care Moore offered her insights on developing a career in writing and performance followed by a group discussion.  Jessica was brought up in and still resides in Detroit, and she is a contributor to the city's burgeoning arts and activism scene. Read more about Creative Salon here

Photo of James Berry

Photo of James Berry

FRIDAY 27 SEPTEMBER: A Benefit Performance

A STORY I AM IN: Poetry, Music & Spoken Word celebrating James Berry’s Life in Literature

In this special fundraising benefit at the Tabernacle, a partnership between The James Berry Trust, renaissance one, Carnival Village Trust and English Pen, nineteen outstanding poets, musician, performers and wordsmiths shared a stage to mark James Berry’s life in words and to bear witness to his contribution to the national, Caribbean and international literary landscapes.  A Story I Am In featured Roger McGough, Grace Nichols, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ian McMillan, Maura Dooley, Andrew Motion, Michael Rosen, Hannah Lowe, John Agard, arroll Thompson, Victor Romero Evans, Janet Kay, Michael Horovitz, Inua Ellams, Dean Atta, Susanna Howard, Myra Barrs, Alastair Niven, Melanie Abrahams and James Ingham, and Keith Waithe

James Berry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease ten years ago, and has been in residential care for over three years, five different care homes and has spent four months in hospital. Despite the serious nature of his illness, he continues to enjoy listening to poetry and talking about everything under the sun.  He celebrates 90 years of poetry, stories and song in September 2014.  Thank you to all who attended and supported this event.  


Tanti Merle at de Oval and other stories from an international raconteur

"Paul Keens-Douglas celebrates our rich cultural amalgam and Caribbean landscapes like nobody else does"

Tilt and the Tabernacle presented two nights of PAUL KEENS-DOUGLAS, an Trinidadian storyteller, raconteur and public speaker who is also creator of the famous annual Carnival Talk Tent in Trinidad. He is a recipient of a Zora Neale Hurston Award and the Humming Bird Silver Medal for Culture. He was a guest artist at the 2012 London Is The Place For Me festival.

1 Feb: Hannah Lowe and renaissance one presents Book Launch: Chick by Hannah Lowe

at the Jamaican High Commission

HANNAH LOWE’s first book of poems was launched at an event produced by Hannah and renaissance one, and supported by the Jamaican High Commission.

Hannah takes you on a personal journey, and exploration of, her father, a Chinese-Black Jamaican migrant who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London's old East End to support his family. Chick was his gambling nickname.  With London as the backdrop to the poems, Hannah Lowe's narrative is often filmic in effect and brimming with sensory detail of stories of childhood and coming-of-age, love and loss of love, grief and regret.

What they say...‘...An extraordinary debut...a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic. These are poems springing from the page with vitality, rue and insight. Her elegies are restrained and devastating. ’ Penelope Shuttle.



7 OCT 2012: Black Beats: Amiri Baraka in Conversation

renaissance one, Tilt and the British Library presented an evening with AMIRI BARAKA, a leading figure of the evolution of the spoken word genre, who has influenced politics, artistic practice and cultural change on an international scale. Before the Beats there was Jazz poetry.  During this event, Baraka read and performed from the rich collection of his work.  The reading was preceded by a Q & A between Baraka and Dr Corinne Fowler (Director of the Centre for New Writing) on his career and influences.

Photo of Kwame Dawes

Photo of Kwame Dawes

5 OCT 2012: JUBILATION! Celebrating 50 Years of Jamaican Independence

Kwame Dawes, Mervyn Morris, Janett Plummer, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Kay Remedy

renaissance one and the British Library presented an evening of poetry, songs and readings marking the 50th birthday of Jamaica's independence and the publication of a major new anthology, Jubilation! (edited by Kwame Dawes).

Two of the best-known Jamaican poets, MERVYN MORRIS and KWAME DAWES, are joined by writer JANETT PLUMMER, musician AYANNA and singer-songwriter KAY REMEDY, to reflect on the historical moment of independence and the years that have followed.

Kwame Dawes is a distinguished international poet, a writer of over thirty books and an accomplished playwright, producer, actor and singer. Born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica, he is a winner of awards including an Emmy Award and the Forward Prize.

Kwame Dawes is one of the most important writers of his generation ….a mighty and lasting body of work...”. Elizabeth Alexander (Poet, Inaugural Ceremony, President Obama)

Mervyn Morris is an established Jamaican poet, published by among others the prestigious Carcanet publishing house. In 1992 he was Visiting Writer- in-Residence at the South Bank Centre and he is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & West Indian Literature at the University of the West Indies.

An engraver in short, sharp, slashes that go deep”. Andrew Salkey


Britain re-mapped through a selection of writing on place

renaissance one and the British Library presented an evening of poetry and prose with some of Britain’s best Black and Asian poets. Celebrating the re-mapping of Britain created through Out of Bounds, a new poetry anthology from Bloodaxe Books edited by Jackie Kay, James Procter and Gemma Robinson the evening presented readings by and discussion with JOHN AGARD, GRACE NICHOLS, DALJIT NAGRA and CAROL LEEMING and was hosted by Melanie Abrahams.

Photo of Roger Robinson (See him at Talk Time: Independence! 18 Aug)

Photo of Roger Robinson (See him at Talk Time: Independence! 18 Aug and 19 Aug, at 4 pm. More details below.)


Trinidad and Tobago 50 Years Independence Festival

London Is the Place For Me festival commemorates and celebrates 50 years of Trinidad and Tobago independence at the Tricycle Theatre from Sun 12 - Sat 25 August.This two week happening offers some of T & T's finest artists, thinkers and shapers including EARL LOVELACE, DEBRA ROMAIN, PAUL KEENS DOUGLAS, ALEXANDER D GREAT, MARTINA LAIRD, LAWRENCE SCOTT, MONIQUE ROFFEY, AMANDA SMYTH, ANTHONY JOSEPH, ROGER ROBINSON and a book launch of THE POEMS OF SAM SELVON. Curated by MELANIE ABRAHAMS and DOMINIQUE LE GENDRE.

Please view/book events here.



10 JUNE 2012: A Great Day In Britain - 25 Years On

A quarter of a century of advancing political representation

The Bernie Grant Trust in association with Bernie Grant Arts Centre and renaissance one produced 
A Great Day In Britain - 25 Years On
A reunion and celebration of progress marking a quarter of a century of advancing political representation
at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre 
An evening of Reunion, Commemoration, Food, Music, Film, Spoken Word and more, including performances by Shazia Mirza, Alexander D Great and Adisa and presentations by Diane Abbott MP and David Lammey MP


John Hegley, Jasmine Cooray, Prince Abdi, Jonny Blamey, Philip Wells & more

renaissance one presented EXTREME HAPPY FAIR: a ‘spoken word fair' of speech juggling, poetry, live art, lucky dips, philosophy, and jam.  Featuring Poet In Residence John Hegley, poet Jasmine Cooray, Comedian Prince Abdi, THE EXTREME HAPPINESS EXPERIMENT by Mesmer, Mystic, Philosopher and Magician Jonny Blamey, poets Philip Wells and Jasmine Cooray and assorted guests.  6pm, Free


Feature piece in Exeunt Magazine

A revolution has taking place in the way we consume poetry. It is debateable if we can now call performance poetry an emerging art form at all. Spoken word now has its own section in the Edinburgh Fringe brochure. Festival punters need no explanation. ...Poets are an increasingly common feature at schools, conferences and political events as social commentators and facilitators. As spoken word finds new ways to educate, entertain and inspire, why are so many people seeing the value in spoken word for pleasure, pedagogy and protest?

Patience Agbabi by Lyndon Douglas

Patience Agbabi by Lyndon Douglas

Patience Agbabi

Telling Tales book tour April to October 2014

Telling Tales by Patience Agbabi is a re-interpretation of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for 21st century readers and audiences, from one of the UK's foremost poets.

What they say

"A pilgrimage of punks, badasses, broken hearts, beat poets, silver-tongued fixers, town criers, beauties, sinners…A poem on wheels."  Jeanette Winterson

“The liveliest versions of Chaucer you're likely to read." Simon Armitage

Patience Agbabi England Tour 2014

Giving readings of her new poetry collection TELLING TALES

Setting off from Southwark on a journey that passes through unmissable landmarks on the trail of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and which includes some exhilarating detours en route, poet Patience Agbabi will be presenting her new book at the following venues:

Click here to download a tour flier    Visit the TELLING TALES section to read more

remaining tour dates in autumn:


11 October  ILKLEY 

12 October  SHEFFIELD 

13 October  HALESWORTH

16 October  MANCHESTER

18 October PLYMOUTH

29 October  CANTERBURY

8 November THE POETRY SCHOOL: Telling Tales workshop

15 November LEICESTER


Please email renaissance one at hq[at]renaissanceone.co.uk if you would like further information or you have a query.