Word on the Street

More Word on the Streets…

It brings spoken word luminaries to perform alongside poetry and storytelling newcomers, and our second spoken word festival Word on the Street certainly didn’t disappoint. 

Appearing at The Freedom CentreNorth Point Shopping Centre and the William Gemmell Social Club as part of Hull 2017’s Back To Ours, Word on the Street is designed to build on and inspire the vibrant spoken word and poetry community in Hull.

In the run-up to the gigs, literature organisations A Firm of Poets and Wordlife ran free workshops targeted at people who are new to writing, supporting them as they developed their creative voice and live performance skills.

Wordlife project manager and Word on the Street organiser Joe Kriss said:

‘Poetry and spoken word are flourishing up and down the country as people discover it in their local pubs, community centres and in short poetry videos on Facebook.

‘It’s an old art form with a new twist and more and more people are getting involved in it as a platform to talk about their lives; it’s a great way of getting a community to have a conversation with itself, but also a fun night out.’

As well as local performers including Russ LittenDean Wilson and Vicky Foster, the shows featured award-winning poets Thick Richard and Vanessa Kisuule who have been featured on the BBC, The Guardian, Woman’s Hour and Sky TV.

We’re also delighted to announce that Word on the Street will be hitting Freedom Festival this year, bringing names like Luke Wright  and Hollie McNish, to celebrate our tenth anniversary. for more information see our events page here 

Watch this space for more information on how you can come to workshops and get involved. 

Word on The Street is a Freedom Festival Arts Trust spoken word project in partnership with A Firm of Poets, Wordlife and Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services. It is funded by James Reckitt Library Trust and Arts Council England.


Where did it all begin?

Launched last year, Word on the Street is our exciting spoken word project enabling newcomers to learn and perform alongside local and internationally acclaimed spoken word artists over the Freedom Festival weekend.

  1. Pre-festival programme with A Firm of Poets and Wordlife

A collaboration between Freedom Festival, A Firm of Poets and Wordlife, we provided open workshops in writing and poetry performance and let you do the rest!

  1. Freedom Stories

Led by local writer Rupert Creed, Freedom Stories gave local talent the opportunity to learn how to write and perform new storytelling at the Festival. The workshops explored the theme of personal freedom and participants performed over the festival weekend.

  1. Generations

Hull Poet Joe Hakim led a series of writing workshops with older residents from Henry Vernon Court and young people from the Goodwin Trust Refugee and Darley Youth Centre groups. The two groups created spoken word pieces in a series of workshops, addressing the question of what freedom meant to them.

  1. Freedom from Incarceration

Russ Litten, a writer from Wrecking Ball Press, delivered poetry workshops over a 6-week period focusing on concepts of Freedom with 4 ex-offenders from HMP Humber. They performed their work over the Freedom Festival weekend in the Speak Out tent.

Check out this short film, which followed 2016’s Word on The Street project.