Mixing Roots Programme

Programme closed – but get in touch if you’re a young woman of colour age 14-25 [FREE]

If you’re a new, aspiring or emerging young poet keen to develop, Mixing Roots is back and running a five workshop online poetry programme offering a supportive set of workshops and individual feedback to inspire and guide you in developing as a poet.

Join Sheffield Poet Laureate Warda Yassin, who’ll build your writing confidence through fun and accessible writing exercises and editing advice, and receive peer and one-to-one feedback on work, and tips and insights into publishing routes and opportunities. There’ll be a chance to work with guest poets Danae Wellington and Sile Sibanda, and submit your work to be published in an upcoming print anthology.

Who’s it for?
The programme is for young women of colour aged 15 to 25 in Sheffield, and the nearby north, with an interest in developing their poetry. You don’t have to feel like you’re an amazing writer to apply, you just need a curiosity for poetry and a willingness to have a go. Both beginner and emerging poets are welcome to get in touch.

You might feel like you lack a way in, direction, sticking power, or confidence. You might have a project you want inspiration to get stuck into, or to hone your skills or work. Or you might simply want a regular reason to write and connect with others on a similar creative journey. All levels and interests welcome.

As the programme is on Zoom, it’s open to writers from across the north. We’re keen to hear from more young women of African heritage – but all women of colour/migrant communities are welcome to apply. We’re also keen to hear from people who feel like they wouldn’t normally be able to access this kind of opportunity.

Expect a warm and supportive group with a wonderful poet and guests. The programme will run on Sundays from Sunday 13th March, 3-4.45/5pm on Zoom [five sessions with Warda Yassin and optional sessions with Danae Wellington and Sile Sibanda that might take place on another day]

Cost | FREE
The programme is subsidised through Hive meaning places are totally free. Why? Programmes like this normally cost upwards of £250 but Mixing Roots is subsidised as a way to reach new and emerging young writers and remove barriers to developing as a writer. We’re looking for young writers who are keen join to the programme and gain as much as possible from taking part.

To register interest
Send (in one Word or .rtf document) up to 4 poems (no pressure if you don’t have work to send though), followed by up to 250 words about yourself, including: your interests, where you feel you are with your writing and any input you’ve had with it, why you’re applying for this programme, and how you think it could be of help.

Send with the following at the bottom: Your age, date of birth, your heritage/ethnic origin as you wish to describe, place of study or work (if applicable), email, telephone number, address (term or home), and anything else you might want to tell us by midnight 6th March to wardayassin@hivesouthyorkshire.com 

About Mixing Roots
The Mixing Roots project was set up in 2019 by poet Warda Yassin with the support of Hive. It exists to encourage and support the creative development of young women writers of colour  – new, aspiring and emerging. Over the last few years, four Mixing Roots programmes have been delivered and several pamphlet publications produced. A first book-length Mixing Roots anthology from the project celebrating a wide range of voices of colour from across the north will be published in 2022.

Warda Yassin is a British Somali poet and English teacher. She was awarded the Women Poets’ Prize 2020/21 and became Sheffield Poet Laureate in the same year. Warda writes about her experiences as a British Somali and about her heritage and community and in 2018 was a winner of the New Poets Prize. Her debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom came out with The Poetry Business in 2019. Warda has been a part of the South Yorkshire writers network (now Hive) for many years and recognises from her own experience, how writing networks can support young writers to reach their potential.

Danae Wellington is a Jamaican British writer, poet and advocate for healing through the creative arts, specifically through the fusion of poetry, storytelling, music and theatre. She’s been published in several anthologies and has performed widely at places like the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival and Sheaf Poetry Festival. She recently set up Nyara School of Arts, a project aimed at creatively supporting young people from African Diaspora backgrounds.

Sile Sibanda is a British Zimbabwean poet, spoken word performer, and BBC radio presenter. As well as being an active part of the Hive community, she has hosted open mics and events for Hive over the last few years and is loved by everyone for her warmth and encouragement of young voices. Sile hails from Rotherham and in 2019 she won the BBC Radio Sheffield ‘This is Me’ presenting competition and subsequently became the host of The Vibe on BBC Radio Sheffield.