Leading youth arts charity Eastside is proud to celebrate its work with partners from across England who have helped to provide schools with free creative resources and access to professional artists, giving pupils the skills and confidence to develop, write and perform their own original Spoken Word poetry. 

SPOKEN WORD POWER is a new, fully funded creative project supporting Primary, Secondary and SEND schools, as well as other educational institutions across the nation to creatively champion the spoken word. 1,500 young people took part in an in-depth creative process in their school with a mentor poet guiding them through a journey of writing and performing poetry, and sharing their work at an exciting school poetry slam.

As part of SPOKEN WORD POWER, in March 2022, children in Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Essex and London attended inspirational poetry celebration events in their local regional theatre, performing their own poems live to an audience of supportive classmates, friends, family and other participating schools. Themes such as identity, racism, the environment were prominent, all derived from the 2022 project theme Speaking My Truth.  

Events were hosted in The Unity Theatre, Liverpool, The Criterion Theatre, London, Lakeside Theatre, Colchester, and The Civic Theatre, Rotherham. 

Click here to watch a small selection of the incredible live poetry performances. 

Matt Lane, CEO and Artistic Director of Eastside said: “At Eastside, we believe that opportunities to participate in the arts are more important than ever. It is vital that young people have access to high quality creative learning experiences which help them develop their creative thinking and build up their confidence. 

I am so proud that SPOKEN WORD POWER has reached so many schools across the country developing thousands of young voices. Thanks must go to our wonderful partners and everyone who has helped deliver this important work.” 

Arts Council England, John Lyon’s Charity and the UK National Commission for UNESCO have all supported the project along with regional delivery partners Grimm & Co (Rotherham), Writing on the Wall (Merseyside) and Essex Book Festival

James Bridge, Secretary-General, UK National Commission for UNESCO “We are delighted to continue to work with Eastside Educational Trust and partners in supporting the SPOKEN WORD POWER project. Poetry has a unique ability to bring us together, to inspire and to allow us to escape. 

I am thrilled that World Poetry Day is being celebrated through SPOKEN WORD POWER here in the UK, and is part of people across the world celebrating poetry together. I very much look forward to hearing the poems and performances that this project has supported.”    

Watch and celebrate poetry performances on the theme of Speaking My Truth’ here and find out what young people want to say to the world today.