September 2, 2020

Jerwood Compton Poetry Takeover

The Fellows for this edition Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Anthony Joseph and Yomi Sode are celebrating the end of a year of mentorship, reflection and development through the Fellowship programme with this new digital programme of online events, content and social media takeovers. Through the programme they will present new work, testing fresh ideas and formats for poetry online as well as engaging in critical conversations about what poetry can be, and is, today.

The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships offer a significant new development opportunity for poets and support individuals whose practice encompasses poetry in the broadest artistic sense. The Jerwood Compton Fellowships are designed and managed by Jerwood Arts, with support from Arts Council England including funds from the Joseph Compton bequest. 


First Five

Thursday 17 September, 7pm on Instagram Live

Yomi interviews his fellow Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows about first albums and guilty pleasures in his popular and insightful series that has reached tens of thousands via Instagram Live in recent months. Follow us on Instagram to get a notification for when the live stream starts, here. Follow First Five on Instagram, here

Watch again, here.


The Poetry Table: How the Arts Saved Our Lockdown

Wednesday 23 September, stream from 1pm on Youtube

In this discussion the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows Anthony, Hafsah and Yomi will talk about and share the art that kept them going during 2020 – music, film, Netflix and poetry. We welcome you to send in your stories of how art has helped you this year to [email protected]. The fellows will read and reflect on these during the event, in a celebration of the uplifting power of art, and poetry in particular.


On Uniformity

Monday 28 September, stream from 6pm on Youtube

Yomi has teamed up with photographer Gioncarlo Valentine to present a new work titled On Uniformity. Through pictures and words, this project explores the experiences of Black British schoolchildren on race, identity and most importantly, expectations set by society. This will be followed as a conversation between both artists regarding the process of the multi-disciplinary project. More…


The Poetry Table: Politics of Poetic Craft

Wednesday 14 October, stream from 1pm on Youtube

For this roundtable event the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows Anthony, Hafsah and Yomi explore the rich artistic space between art’s politics and its poetic form through the lens of their own writing. The poets will present works which touch upon themes of politics, race and identity and followed by a discussion facilitated by the programme’s Project Manager Nathalie Teitler. More…


Sonnets for Albert

Saturday 17 October, stream from 6pm on Youtube

Anthony performs a selection of tridecasyllabic (13 syllable line) sonnets which commemorate and interrogate his complex relationship with his late father, while examining the wider edges of Caribbean masculinity and fatherhood. Anthony writes ‘My father was a fascinating, enigmatic presence. He was absent for most of my childhood, and it is this absence which made him such a significant presence in my life and in my development as a poet.’ The performance features an improvised jazz soundscape with Jason Yarde on saxophone and Rod Youngs on drums. This will be followed by a conversation between Anthony and Jason discussing poetic craft, inspiration, improvisation and recording during lockdown. More…


For the Love of Poetry – 75 Days

Wednesday 21 October, stream from 1pm on Youtube

For 75 days during lockdown, Hafsah gave a lunchtime reading live of poems on social media marking the highs and lows of this time. Hafsah will be in conversation with the programme’s Project Manager Nathalie Teitler about how she found poems to inspire, celebrate and comfort her audience, allowing poetry to reach out to new audiences at a time when it was so needed. She will be reading some of her all-time favourites and some of the UK’s best poets will be dropping in live to read their own work. More…


Social Media

To coincide with the programme we’ll be centring poetic practice on our social media channels and doing takeovers with the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows throughout September and October 2020. Follow us:





How can I access this free online programme of events?

Register via Eventbrite to receive the links for the events you would like to stream straight to your inbox, here.


The majority of this online event programme will be pre-recorded and captioned in English language subtitles, available to stream for free online. Find out more about the format and presentation of each online event on its individual Eventbrite page. We want to make sure that our content is accessible to all audiences. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can support you or you have any feedback on the accessibility of our work. You can contact us via email at [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)7947 906 445.




Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a Manchester-based poet, playwright & performer originally from East London. Founder and co-director of Outside The Frame Arts, she is passionate about championing voices outside the mainstream and building power through creative expression. Her debut poetry collection The Celox And The Clot is published by Burning Eye Books and she is one of ten authors selected for the New Writing North’s Read Regional 2020 campaign.

She was selected to be part of the Artistic Directors Leadership Programme, a scheme preparing Leaders Of Tomorrow from minority ethnic backgrounds for future leadership roles. She is an Associate Artist with The Poetry Exchange, Associate Artist with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Supported Artist at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Creating socially engaged work, her play Cuts Of The Cloth was commissioned for PUSH Festival 2019. She has worked creatively with Manchester International Festival, Ballet Black Ldn, HOME Theatre Mcr, Manchester Literature Festival and ANU Productions Irl. Before lockdown, she was developing her SICK! Festival commission, Four Dholis And A Divorce exploring mental health set in the South Asian community. She is currently developing new work for the Tete a Tete Festival & has recently launched the Poetry Health Service, a project delivering poetry panaceas by the people, for the people.


Anthony Joseph is a Trinidad-born poet, novelist and musician. He is the author of four poetry collections and three novels. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a calypso Icon was shortlisted in the fiction category for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, The Republic of Consciousness Prize, and the 2019 Encore Award. His most recent publication is the experimental novel The Frequency of Magic. As a musician, he has released seven critically acclaimed albums, and in 2020 received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composers Award. He has a PhD in Creative & Life Writing and lectures in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester.


Yomi Sode was born in Oyo State Nigeria and lives in London. He has been performing for over 10 years. Highlights include opening for Saul Williams and The Last Poets, with appearances at Yahoo! Wireless Festival, Latitude, Lovebox, Olympic Village, Sadler’s Wells Theatre as well as working with Channel 4 and BBC Radio 1xtra. He runs a successful monthly poetry night in Shoreditch, he is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, he has had work commissioned by The Mayor’s Office, BBC World Service/ BBC Africa, various charities and was recently presented at the UN Humanitarian Summit by Gordon Brown.

Yomi founded Boxedin in 2012, a quickfire, free poetry night at Boxpark in Shoreditch. In 2014 he won a place on Nimble Fish’s RE: Play programme to begin developing his one-man show COAT. Yomi was selected as one of 10 Poets to join The Complete Works in 2016, a national development programme for advanced Black and Asian writers. He also travelled to New York City as part of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives initiative to read his work at the New York Public Library.

In 2017, his play COAT premiered at The Roundhouse, selling out in 24 hours and subsequently toured the UK.


(From Left) Yomi Sode, Anthony Joseph, Hafsah Bashir, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2019-20. Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England. Image by Mirren Kessling.(From Left) Yomi Sode, Anthony Joseph, Hafsah Bashir, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2019-20. Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England. Image: Mirren Kessling.