8th-9th June 2018

Pro­duced by Poet in the City

Hos­ted by Kings Place, 90 York Way, Lon­don

 Sav­ages front­wo­man Jehnny Beth, BBC radio DJ Cerys Mat­thews and sop­rano Claire Booth con­firmed to head­line

Poetry & Lyr­ics is an annu­al fest­iv­al cur­ated and pro­duced by Poet in the City, a nation­al arts char­ity that brings poetry to life bey­ond books, pro­du­cing clas­sic and con­tem­por­ary poetry per­form­ances tak­ing on major ideas, issues and people. The fest­iv­al is cel­eb­rat­ing its third year with an excit­ing line-up of artists and per­formers and a new theme of ‘Leg­acy and Sub­cul­ture’.

Tak­ing over Kings Place for two days, the fest­iv­al will bring togeth­er lov­ers of music and poetry alike for an eclect­ic pro­gramme of live music, talks, work­shops and read­ings for audi­ences of all ages. For the 2018 edi­tion, along­side estab­lished artists and per­formers, Poet in the City have com­mis­sioned an array of tal­ent to take over the Plat­forms stage for sets open to the pub­lic, and con­firmed the addi­tion of two explos­ive late-night offer­ings.

‘“We are thrilled to intro­duce year three of our Poetry & Lyr­ics fest­iv­al. Every year we bring togeth­er lov­ers of all dif­fer­ent styles of music and poetry and I always find it incred­ibly excit­ing to see crowds span­ning clas­sic­al to folk and hip-hop all rub­bing shoulders. This year is as eclect­ic as ever and some of our high­lights include call­ing back to our inaug­ur­al year to wel­come back the won­der­ful Cerys Mat­thews for a night of blues and social change, exper­i­en­cing Copland’s gor­geous set­tings of Emily Dickin­son and get­ting close to the poet­ic influ­ences of Sav­age’s Jehnny Beth. I am also really excited that this year for the first time we’ll be host­ing parties with new hip-hop poetry com­mis­sions and a cel­eb­ra­tion of the poetry of night­life, as well as increas­ing our offer to fam­il­ies. Here’s to the mix!”’

- Iso­bel Col­chester, CEO of Poet in the City


The 2018 head­liners are united in their tal­ent and com­mit­ment to authen­ti­city, cel­eb­rat­ing the abil­ity of music and poetry to cap­ture and con­vey a par­tic­u­lar moment in his­tory.

Con­tinu­ing her long-stand­ing involve­ment with the fest­iv­al, award-win­ning musi­cian and BBC 6 Music DJ Cerys Mat­thews returns this year on Fri­day to present an even­ing explor­ing blues music. With a host of spe­cial guests, audi­ences can expect din­ner-table-worthy tales and spell-bind­ing per­form­ances.

BBC Radio 4’s John Wilson also returns to the fest­iv­al to cur­ate a show, and on Sat­urday will be joined in con­ver­sa­tion with Jehnny Beth, sing­er, song­writer, radio host and Sav­ages front­wo­man, who took to the Brits stage this year with Damon Albarn and Gor­illaz. In addi­tion to her music­al cre­den­tials, Jehnny col­lab­or­ates widely to cre­ate dia­logues with oth­er art forms.

Brit­ish sop­rano Claire Booth will bring her vital­ity and musi­cian­ship to Aaron Copland’s jew­el-like song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickin­son, set­tings of some of the poet’s most tender and rhythmic poetry, and will be accom­pan­ied by Grammy award-win­ning pian­ist and accom­pan­ist Chris­toph­er Glynn. The two artists reunite after their crit­ic­ally-acclaimed record­ing of Percy Grainger’s folk music last year on Avie Records.

After Hours

New to the 2018 fest­iv­al is a late-night line-up of bound­ary-push­ing per­form­ances cre­at­ing an elec­tric party vibe and pay­ing homage to London’s night­life. Gone are the seats of Hall Two — this is stand­ing room only.

Crit­ic­ally-acclaimed band Ben­in City will be per­form­ing their new album Last Night on 8th June, fresh from the stage of SXSW in Aus­tin, Texas. The per­form­ance, pro­duced by cross-art­form theatre com­pany nabokov, is a rad­ic­al spoken word and music exper­i­ence chart­ing the evol­u­tion and decline of London’s night­life. The audi­ence will recog­nise much of their own exper­i­ences as they hear from a cast of char­ac­ters in a rhythmic, brass-fla­voured snap­shot of the city’s fad­ing party scene.


Set­ting the scene for a Sat­urday night, Poet in the City present The Col­lege Dro­pout R.A.P party, a hip-hop fuelled rhythm and poetry party cur­ated by acclaimed poets Inua Ellams and Theresa Lola, fea­tur­ing 13 brand new com­mis­sions inspired by Kanye West’s icon­ic album The Col­lege Dro­pout. Expect a night equal parts boo­gie and bril­liance, with sets from DJ Sid Mer­cu­tio and sizz­ling new words from a spe­cially assembled playl­ist of power­house poets.

Some­thing for Every­one

The 2018 fest­iv­al has an even great­er offer­ing of emer­ging tal­ent, diverse genre per­form­ances and fam­ily events, with the full pro­gramme cel­eb­rat­ing the dif­fu­sion of leg­acy through­out a new gen­er­a­tion of artists and audi­ences.


Lead­ing the line-up of events for a young­er audi­ence is Michael de Souza, oth­er­wise known as everybody’s favour­ite crime bustin’, reg­gae lov­in’ Rastamouse, who will be shar­ing some of the clas­sic stor­ies from his hit children’s book and tele­vi­sion series, before being joined by Lil’ Bruv, a rap­per turned poet. Togeth­er they’ll embark on an adven­ture explor­ing the twists and turns of rhythm and rhyme on his path to becom­ing a blos­som­ing bard in this inter­act­ive show for the whole fam­ily.

Also per­form­ing is poet Kate Wakeling will take her audi­ence on a super-son­ic treas­ure hunt to find the secret music that fizzes through poetry in an inter­act­ive work­shop for the whole fam­ily.

Fur­ther per­form­ances will come from Lon­don poet Richard Scott, who will be read­ing from his debut Faber col­lec­tion Soho; and poet, musi­cian and lec­turer on Trin­id­a­di­an cul­ture Anthony Joseph with long time col­lab­or­at­or Jason Yarde. Up and com­ing artists per­form­ing in the Foy­er Stage as part of a free series include under­ground soul sing­er Nãnci Cor­reia and sing­er song­writer Daudi Mat­siko.

After an sell-out event last year with Still I Rise, the Poet in the City Pro­du­cers, a group of tal­en­ted 16–25 year olds shap­ing the future of live poetry, are back to explore the theme of com­munity cohe­sion, inspired by voices from Isling­ton.

For more inform­a­tion, Full line up and to pur­chase tick­ets, please vis­it www.kingsplace.co.uk or call the Kings Place Box Office on 020 7520 1490.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.