Spoken Word in the UK

Thursday 13th May 2021, 8-10 PM

Special book launch and online concert with Dr Lucy English, Jack McGowan, Adrian Johnson, Danny Pandolfi, Spoz, Dreadlockalien, Graham Cleland, and Cath’s Cupboard of Customs

Dr Lucy English Jack McGowan Adrian Johnson
Craft-D Spoz Dreadlockalien Graham Cleland

Spoken Word in the UK is a colossal, new, land mark publication and review of spoken word activity across the country from 1945 to date edited by Dr Lucy English and Jack McGowan, and May’s concert features selections from the book and invited guests: editor Professor Lucy English in conversation with Bristol’s fast talking Danny Pandolfi and Poetry Slam champions Dreadlockalien and Spoz discuss with research poet, Adrian Johnson, the New October Poets legacy - an epic collective that shook up spoken word events across England.

In a combined Get A Word in Edgeways special book launch and concert we hear from the editors, Dr Lucy English and Jack McGowan about some of the imaginative, lippy pioneers of the spoken word scene and showcase featured poets, Danny Pandolfi, Dreadlock Alien and Spoz. Graffiti artist Graham Cleland will be spicing up the mix. All of this will be carefully cooked up and served by our resident MC, Amy Douglas, with her traditional good humour and cheer and Cath Edwards - our intrepid keeper of the colourful cupboard of customs will also be offering her latest discoveries and research.

Dr Lucy English

Dr Lucy English is a Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She is a spoken word poet and novelist. Lucy has two poetry collections published by Burning Eye Books. The last was the poetry from her acclaimed poetry film project, The Book of Hours, which is a re-imagining of a medieval book of hours in poetry film form. There are 48 poetry films made in collaboration with 27 international film makers. Films from this project have been screened at over thirty short film and poetry film festivals, including, Newlyn, Poole Lighthouse. O'Bheal, Newlyn, and Zebra. The whole project was shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize in 2018.

Danny 'Craft-D' Pandolfi

Craft-D is rapper, poet, writer, and events producer from London. His writing and performances aim to bridge the gap between forms associated with traditional poetry and contemporary hip-hop.
 In 2020, his debut single 'Letter to Corbyn' reached #1 in the iTunes UK Hip-Hop chart and #11 in the overall iTunes chart, amassing over 200k views on Twitter,
 He is Director of Raise the Bar, a spoken word events platform championing a diverse range of writers, lyricists and storytellers, and Co-Director of Lyra - Bristol Poetry Festival.

Craft-D has performed at major venues and festivals such as Ministry of Sound, 02 Academy Bristol, Roundhouse London, Camp Bestival, Shambala, Blissfields, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and more, and has featured on numerous radio stations including BBC 1Xtra and BBC Radio Bristol. His poetry residencies in the past include Bristol Boat Poet and Roundhouse Resident Artist.

In 2017 he was named as one of Bristol’s 24 most influential Bristolians under 24 by Rife Magazine. In 2018, he was featured in an Eventbrite documentary entitled ‘Generation DIY’ celebrating creatives and promoters under 25.

You can listen to his music on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music.

Giovanni 'Spoz' Esposito

Spoz (real name Giovanni Esposito) is an award winning performance poet, singer / songwriter, film maker, playwright and is the poet-in-residence at Birmingham City FC.

Spoz has been seen on BBC Television, has been heard on BBC Radio Four, Radio Five Live, Radio West Midlands, Radio Coventry & Warwickshire, Radio Hereford & Worcs, Capital Gold and on the toilet.

Spoz has performed at Glastonbury, Shambala, Cheltenham Lit Fest, Larmer Tree, Wychwood and other festivals, as well as in front of his mom.

Spoz was Birmingham’s Poet Laureate in 2006 / 7 which was nice. He works a lot with young people in schools, though likes to rough it a little with adults too.

Spoz manages and facilitates many school poetry slam projects, including The West Midlands, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and other regions nationwide.

Spoz has had three poetry collections published. “The Day the Earth Grew Hair” and “Spoz’s Shorts … and the Occasional Long One” are for a younger reader. “Sometimes Angry” is a bit more grown up and is released on Verve Poetry Press. You can get it from Waterstone’s too!

Spoz has a website. You can have a look if you like? www.spoz.co.

Adrian Johnson

Adrian Johnson is a part time teacher, former city of Birmingham poet laureate and occasional storyteller from Smethwick. He is obsessed with some remarkable characters from the middle lands including the industrial genius, William Murdoch and the Black Country Giant, Walter Parsons. He also plans to publish a series of small, non-fiction booklets with kindandgenerous productions later in 2021

You can find out more at his website adrianwriter.weebly.com.


Dreadlockalien is a poet that has performed across the UK at venues including Glastonbury, Shambala, Tate Britain and schools, festivals and conferences too numerous to list here. He is also a schools’ mass engagement specialist with the poetry, speech and language agency Memorhyme.

Graham Cleland

Graffitti is a raw, passionate, exuberant and subversive artform - a combination of modern expression and an impulse as ancient as cave drawings.

Growing up in the North East England, Graham Cleland was first inspired both by the emerging hiphop scene and the beauty of illuminated lettering he discovered in Durham cathedral. Over his two decades as a graffiti artist, he has created commissions and exhibitions throughout Britain and Germany. As a youth missioner, Graham uses graffiti to engage some of the hardest to reach young people in some of the toughest areas in Britain

You can find out more at his website realgraffiti.jimdofree.com.

Cath’s Cupboard of Customs

Cath Edwards

Each month Cath’s Cupboard of Customs will highlight some traditions, lore and customs that are in keeping with the time of year.

Storyteller Cath Edwards has long been fascinated by traditions – the ‘old ways’. To find out more about her and her work please visit her website storytellingforall.co.uk.


All our concerts are presented using Zoom. To join us on the day all you need to do is click on the link which will be sent to you after you've bought a ticket.

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