Youth Word Up 10th Birthday!

In partnership with Off the Shelf Festival of Words
Performance: Young people and poet Joelle Taylor
Suitable for ages 13+, parental guidance applies

Event: 21st Oct 2021 | 7.30 – 9.30pm
Venue: Creative Lounge, Workstation (3mins from Sheff train station)
15 Paternoster Row, United Kingdom, S1

Free event! Register here

The Youth Word Up is ten years old this year! To celebrate, young people who’ve been involved in the project over the years perform their work alongside those new to the mic and this year, the mighty Joelle Taylor is back to headline for us!

Fearless.  This is poetry with purpose” Benjamin Zephaniah on Joelle Taylor

The Word Up was started by poet and activist, Benjamin Zephaniah as part of his guest curation of Off the Shelf in 2012. He created the project to give young people a chance to have their voices heard alongside an established poet, particularly young people who don’t often have access to this kind of platform.

Over the years, the Youth Word Up has become an ongoing success with young people writing poetry and performing alongside top poets at yearly events during the festival. In 2013, a Youth Word Up, audio-visual installation of young people’s spoken poetry was showcased in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens. And since 2014 a zine of work by young people has been produced each year. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the Youth Word Up took the form of a podcast you can listen to below. In 2021, we are back in the real world to celebrate 10 years with a special anniversary anthology book and event.

Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet and former UK slam champion. She founded the national youth slam championships, Slambassadors and her latest collection is Songs My Enemy Taught Me.

A  limited-edition ten years anthology highlighting work from the project will be released on the night.


About the Youth Word Up

As part of his guest curation of Off the Shelf in 2012, poet, novelist and activist, Benjamin Zephaniah, created The Youth Word Up – a project designed to give young people a chance to have their voices heard alongside an established poet. Now in its 10th year, the Youth Word Up is an ongoing success with young people writing poetry and performing it alongside top poets at yearly events during the Festival. In 2013, a Youth Word Up, audio-visual installation of young people’s spoken poetry was showcased in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens. And since 2014 a booklet of work by young people has been produced each year. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the Youth Word Up took the form of a podcast you can listen to below. In 2021, we are back in the real world to celebrate 10 years with a special anniversary edition of the Youth Word Up.

The Youth Word Up is an Off the Shelf Festival of Words Project funded by Arts Council – Grants for the Arts
Over the years it’s been supported by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Community Youth Teams, Sheffield Youth Justice Service, Chilypep, Healthwatch, Doncaster Foyer, Children in Care Council, Care Leavers union, Hive South Yorkshire, Vicky Morris and Arts Council England.