The UniSlam project empowers young people through poetry. Each year, the UniSlam festival brings together teams of the most talented emerging writers from university communities across the UK and Ireland for a programme of masterclasses, talks, events and the national poetry slam tournament.
The UniSlam festival is also home to the National Youth Poetry Showcase, a day-long event through which younger non-university writers are provided with development workshops and a national platform to share their work. We invite young people from our rest-of-year- programmes (below) and the merging of these different groups allows young people to see what can be achieved through writing, opening up progression routes and aspirations.
Throughout the year, UniSlam run a number of programmes to support different groups. The UniSlam Outreach programme provides groups of young people who face various barriers in accessing education/literature with spoken word workshops. We work with young people from low income/attainment schools or areas of cultural deprivation, who have left/been removed from mainstream education and/or LGBTQ+ youth and use poetry as a tool to engage, inspire and empower.
This work makes a huge difference in the creative development of young people across the country at a time when our education system is facing huge cuts in arts provision. This would not be possible without support from our partner organisations and we are hugely grateful to Agilia for their support in making this happen.
Toby Campion is the director of UniSlam. A poet, performer and playwright, his work was highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes 2019 and was awarded first place by Carol Ann Duffy in the Poetry on the Lake Prizes 2017. Toby works to empower young people through poetry and facilitates workshops across the country.
Next event: Tomorrow’s Poets, Tuesday 11 January, Roundhouse, doors open 6.15pm