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Iona Mandal (left) and Jasmine Gardosi (right). Photo by Lee Allen.

Jerwood Bursary Artist Jasmine Gardosi becomes Birmingham Poet Laureate 2022-24

25 October 2022

Jasmine Gardosi has been named as the new Birmingham Poet Laureate during a National Poetry Day celebration, which also marked the start of this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival.

Jasmine Gardosi, a multiple slam champion and beatboxer, becomes Poet Laureate for 2022-24, succeeding poet Casey Bailey. Iona Mandal, 16, from Birmingham was also announced as the 16th Young Poet Laureate during the event. During their tenure, both Poets Laureate will produce new poems and work to promote poetry across the city, as part of the scheme run by the Library of Birmingham.

As the city’s 23rd Poet Laureate, Jasmine will act as a poetry ambassador and help raise the profile of poetry across Birmingham. She will be asked to write poetry for special occasions, lead poetry workshops, inspiring others to try their own hand at reading and writing poetry and will mentor the newly-appointed Young Poet Laureate.

Jasmine says:

“I’m excited to demonstrate through my role as Birmingham Poet Laureate that poetry belongs to everyone. Our voices are as diverse as Birmingham is – in fact, I believe there are as many types of poetry as there are people in this city. Whether it’s my beatbox/poetry fusions, performing poetry on a rollercoaster, or merging poems with music, I want to show to the world that poetry takes on many forms. It’s an art of infinite possibilities and it’s accessible to anyone. Everyone has a voice, and everyone’s voice matters. I’m especially excited to connect the poetry and music communities, and as an LGBT poet, simply be myself on a larger stage.”

Jasmine Gardosi is a spoken word poet who uses manipulation of voice, body and audience to explore themes of gender, LGBTQ identities and mental health. She has featured on BBC Radio, Button Poetry and at Glastonbury Festival. Her debut pamphlet ‘Hurtz’ was published by the award-winning Verve Poetry Press in May. ‘A Positive Life’, the sexual health show she co-created with Autin Dance Theatre, is in its fourth year of development and touring.

In 2019 Jasmine received a Jerwood Bursary, which enabled her to receive one-to-one beatbox coaching as well as funded time to rehearse, write and experiment with combining poetry and beatboxing. Through this development, she created new pieces of work that fuse the elements of both practices and used this new skillset to explore further crossovers between music and spoken word. About the bursary Jasmine wrote:

“I was granted a career-changing bursary by Jerwood Arts which funded me to learn beatboxing under the tutorship of Ed Geater,” – Verve Festival website.

Jerwood Bursaries provided funding to help artists explore and develop their next steps, whether through supporting skills and knowledge development and/or supporting the first stage development of a new idea. We want artists to pursue their interests independently and on their own terms.

 

Find out more

Read more about the new Birmingham Poet Laureates, here.

Read more about Jasmine Gardosi, here.

Read more about Jerwood Bursaries, here.