Word on the Street

The Streets Were Alive with Words

Word on the Street was our exciting spoken word project in 2016 that enabled newcomers to poetry and storytelling to learn and perform alongside both local and internationally acclaimed spoken word artists over the Freedom Festival weekend.

There were several strands to Word on the Street that provided opportunities for local people to get involved.

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

This strand started in June 2016 and was a collaboration between Freedom Festival, A Firm of Poets and Wordlife. Together we focussed on providing open workshops in writing and performing poetry and the 20 participants performed their work at live events alongside the best local talent and nationally established names – including Luke Wright and Hollie McNish

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

  1. Freedom Stories

This strand was led by local writer Rupert Creed and offered many opportunities for local people to learn how to write and to perform new storytelling at the festival. Rupert worked with 16 participants over 13 sessions and they all performed at an outdoor location in the Fruit Market over the festival weekend. The workshops explored the theme of freedom in the personal lives of the participants and skills learning focused on story structure, effective oral storytelling, performance skills, and role play.

  1. Generations

Hull Poet Joe Hakim led a series of writing workshops with older residents from Henry Vernon Court in the Fruit Market and with youth from the Goodwin Trust Refugee and Darley youth Centre groups. The two groups created spoken word in a series of workshops addressing the question of what freedom means to them individually. Thirty people in total attended the workshops, with 2 of the older and 2 of the younger participants performing their new writing in the spoken word venue over the festival weekend.

  1. Freedom from Incarceration

Russ Litten, a writer from Wrecking Ball Press delivered poetry writing workshops over a period of 6 weeks focusing on their concepts of Freedom with 4 x ex-offenders recently released from HMP Humber. They performed their work over the Freedom Festival weekend in the Speak Out tent, which was incredibly powerful and was well received by audiences. 

John, one of the participant’s stated “I was pleased to have been asked to read some poetry on stage…. I found the whole experience full of energy and a vibrant atmosphere. I will remember it for a very long time.”


Word On The Street is part-funded by Arts Council England and James Reckitt Library Trust and in partnership with Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services Ltd