Culminating on World Poetry Day – 21st March 2020, I know I wish I wish was a fantastic year long national project.  

Eastside artists worked across the country with partners to launch an extensive programme of education and outreach to engage young people across the nation with the art form of spoken word. This open call out received spoken word poetry submissions from over three thousand young people, representing Merseyside, Rotherham, Gloucestershire, Peterborough, Lincolnshire, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, France, Spain and Nigeria to name but a few. 

The I know I wish I will project was due to host a live, 25 hour, continuous spoken word poetry marathon showcasing 808 selected young poets at the West End’s Criterion Theatre. Regrettably, the live event was cancelled 4 days before lift off due to an escalation of Government Coronavirus measures. You can see the show programme here.

 To replace the live marathon, Eastside created a Digital Stage which launched at 11am on World Poetry Day (21st March 2020) enabling I know I wish I will poets to use the #DigitalStage by posting their poetry performances on social media using the #knowwishwill and #WorldPoetryDay hashtags. Eastside also hosted a representative mix of poems for inspiration on the Digital Stage webpage. 

All poems selected for the live event have now been published in a book – order your copies here. If you were a selected poet you will be receiving a free ePub.

Watch the project film here.

Supporters and Partners:

I know I wish I will is endorsed by UNESCO UK:

“The UK National Commission for UNESCO is delighted to be partnering with  Eastside’s, ‘I know I wish I will’ project.

The project embodies many of the values and ideals of UNESCO, providing young people with an opportunity to access a sometimes less well represented aspect of culture.  It encourages them to express themselves when their voices might otherwise not be heard.  The “I know I wish I will” project  is a great way for the UK to celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21st.”

– James Bridge, Secretary-General of The UK National Commission for UNESCO.

Regional partners include: Grimm & CoMetalCheltenham FestivalsWriting On The WallTransported / Boston College / Lincoln University

I Know I Wish I Will