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The Words That Bind Us – Spoken Word Poetry Trail

Join us for the final event of The Words That Bind Us project with a curated poetry trail as Dublin celebrates the breadth and diversity of the city’s living poets

Date: Monday 18th March, 2019

Time: Start 13.00, finish 16.00hrs

Starting point: The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, D2.

Tickets: free and unticketed, advance booking not required

Age suitability: adults and teens; under 12’s are admitted with parental guidance and supervision

Show warnings: may contain strong language and themes of an adult nature

Accessibility: this event is not fully wheelchair accessible


Stephen James Smith
Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the Irish spoken word scene.  His poetry videos have amassed over 1 million views online, including ‘My Ireland’, a short poetry film commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival.  Stephen has performed extensively at top venues and events such as Electric Picnic, Other Voices, the National Concert Hall, the Abbey Theatre (Noble Call), Vicar Street (alongside Oscar winner Glen Hansard), the London Palladium, the Oscar Wilde Awards (LA), Glastonbury Festival and George Town Literary Festival (ML).  His debut collection, Fear Not, is published by Arlen House and was launched in June 2018.

Leyla Josephine
Leyla Josephine is a poet and theatre maker from Glasgow. She has been featured on Huffington Post, Upworthy, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, BBC The Social, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Scotland and STV.

In 2014, she won The UK National Poetry Slam held at The Royal Albert Hall. In that same year, she won Rally & Broad’s Cultural Commonwealth Slam. In 2017 she won Loud Poets’ Grand Slam and was a finalist for The Roundhouse Slam. In 2018 she came second in The Scottish Poetry Slam.

She has just finished touring her 5* show ‘Hopeless’ which was runner up for The Saboteur Best Spoken Word Show 2018.  It was also nominated for The Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, The Brighton Fringe New Voice, it was shortlisted for The Prague Fringe Performance Award.

John Cummins 
John Cummins has been writing for over 20 years and has been performing since early 2010.  A three time Leinster Poetry Slam Champion and the 2013/2014 All-Ireland Poetry Slam Champion, John has performed at festivals and events across the country, including Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Indiependence, and Knockanstockan.

Colm Keegan

Colm Keegan is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction and has won the All Ireland Poetry Slam. His first book “Don’t Go There” was released to critical acclaim in 2012. His latest collection “Randomer” is out now with Salmon poetry.  In 2011, he co-wrote “Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About” – which toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris. His short play “The Process” was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays 2017. His debut full-length play “For Saoirse” was staged in Axis Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe 2018, and was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing award.

FeliSpeaks (aka Felicia Olusanya) is a young Nigerian-Irish spoken word poet, performance artist and writer. Having recently been nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival Sep. 2018 Judges for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD’, a co-written play. Felicia has also been honoured with an award by the (APNI) African Professional Network of Ireland for her unique contribution to the art scene in Dublin City, December 2017. Felispeaks has her mind set on changing poetry as performed and received in Ireland.

Ciara Ní É
Dubliner Ciara Ní É (sounds like KNEE YAY) is the founder of REIC, a monthly bilingual spoken word and open mic night that features poetry, music, storytelling and rap. She writes in both English and Irish about her twenty-something life; on topics ranging from the ghosts in her local pub to what to do when you can’t get a text back. Ciara has performed at festivals Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, The Irish Arts Centre NYC, IMRAM, and many others. 
She has featured on radio on RTÉ 1 Arena, BBC Blas, agus RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. Ciara has been published in a variety of journals including Icarus and Comhar, and was chosen for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series, and also for Foras na Gaeilge’s mentorship scheme.

Is Bleáthcliathach í Ciara Ní É. Ise a bhunaigh an oíche mic oscailte REIC, a mbíonn filíocht den fhocal labhartha, rap, ceol, agus scéalta le cloisteáil ann. Scríobhann sí i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge faoina shaol mar atá – ar ábhair éagsúla idir na taibhsí sa Chlub agus cad is ceart a dhéanamh nuair nach féidir leat téacs ar ais a fháil. Tugadh cuireadh do Chiara filíocht a dhéanamh ag roinnt féiltí éagsúla: Electric Picnic, Body and Soul, The Irish Arts Centre NYC, IMRAM, agus neart eile. Foilsíodh saothar dá chuid in irisí éagsúla, Icarus agus Comhar ina measc. Anuraidh roghnaíodh í don scéim Introductions de chuid Poetry Ireland, agus Scéim Meantóireachta Fhoras na Gaeilge.

George Gunn
George Gunn was born in Thurso in 1956 where he still lives. He has been a deep-sea fisherman, a driller for oil in the North Sea, a journalist, playwright and poet.

Gunn has been writer-in-residence for a handful of places and institutions, including Orkney Islands Council and for the Scottish Poetry Library at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool. He is well known as a playwright, with over fifty productions for stage and radio; from 1992 to 2010 he was Artistic Director of Grey Coast Theatre Company, which he co-founded. He has produced several series for BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4; his poems, reviews and essays appear in magazines and newspapers and he contributes regularly to online publications. A book about Caithness, The Province of the Cat, was published in 2015, and a novel, The Great Edge, in 2017.

Janette Ayachi 
Janette Ayachi is a Scottish-Algerian poet living in Edinburgh. She has been published in many literary journals, including New Writing Scotland, and Gutter, and in anthologies: Be the First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry (Vagabond Voices, 2014), The Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt), and #Untitled 2, Neu! Reekie! (Polygon, 2016). She has been short-listed for Write Queer London as well as a Lancelot Andrewes Award judged by Carol Ann Duffy. She is the winner of the Barbara Burford prize from The Young Enigma Awards 2014. Her film-poem collaboration On Meeting a Fox was part of the official selection for the Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver in 2013.

Janette Ayachi is the author of the poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings (Original Plus Press, 2012) and A Choir of Ghosts (Calder Wood Press, 2013). She edits the online arts journal The Undertow Review and performs her poetry across the U.K. She was Digital Poet in Residence for The Poetry School in 2015, and has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh


The Words That Bind Us

An International Artistic Collaboration with the Scottish Government, the British Council Ireland and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature in association with Axis, Ballymun, Neu! Reekie! and Scottish Poetry Library

The Words That Bind Us is a project that brings together poets from Ireland and Scotland to collaborate with a new generation of young writers. Students from Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun have been working since January with the renowned poets Stephen James Smith (Ireland) and Leyla Josephine (Scotland) alongside weekly guest poets, to create new work through participative workshops as they explore the themes of belonging and identity.  Leyla Josephine has also been working with a group of young girls to produce Creative Sisters; a female only creative space celebrating the power and potential of young women growing up in Dublin today.

On Saturday 16th March, the culmination of work created during the workshops will be beautifully presented on the Axis stage featuring the poets and the students.

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