Welcome

Interested in authors and poets to read or perform at your venues, festivals, centres or schools?  

Throughout the year we are connecting writers to events and education work, and arranging collaborations with literary and music festivals, so contact us if you have an event or project you would like to discuss.

WHAT'S ON THIS YEAR

MELDING VOICES TOUR: MAY - JULY

a potent poetry collaboration between Mark Gwynne Jones and Mamta Sagar

England's Peak District meets India's Karnataka region in a show featuring five times fringe award-winner Mark Gwynne Jones and Bangalore-based poet and translator Mamta Sagar. Two languages become one in a melding of voices that offers electrifying performances and resounding personal and political messages.  "Watching Mamta and Mark perform their poetry together was like experiencing a music concert. Their words embraced each other and their two languages sort of became one." British Library, India

JOHN AGARD on DESERT ISLAND DISCS

Kirsty Young's castaway is poet John Agard, who describes how when he arrived in England from Guyana in the mid-1970 he was already playing with words like some people play with musical notes. He says he believes that "the poet keeps us in touch with the vulnerable core of language that makes us what we are." Broadcast on 16 November 2014.

LONDON IS THE PLACE FOR ME

our music video - a contemporary calypso based on Lord Kitchener's ode to London

Audio: Listen to 'Kitch!' on Radio 4

Presented by Anthony Joseph

This BBC Radio 4 programme brings a flavour of the Caribbean to England. June 1948. The Empire Windrush docks at Tilbury carrying 492 West Indian "citizens of the British Empire" and one of their spokesmen, a gently smiling Aldwyn Roberts sings a Calypso he wrote on the the voyage, 'London is the place for me, London, this lovely city...'.  Presented by poet Anthony Joseph and produced by Allegra McIlroy for BBC Radio 4.

RECENT EVENTS

15 May: Word on the Street Festival

6pm - 8.45pm: Voices of Intent at Free Word Centre

London Literature Lounge Meets Tilt: Voices of Intent   featuring Mamta Sagar, Mark Gwynne Jones, Lauren Alleyne, Anjan Saha, Nina Joshi and Dheeraj Sahai-Mishra and hosts Anjan Saha and Melanie Abrahams

A poetry, prose and music showcase of international artists hailing from India, Kenya, Trinidad and England whose words carry resounding personal and political messages.  The event will also be the London launch of Lauren Allyene’s poetry collection, Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree, 2014).  Supported by Free Word and funded by Arts Council England.

13 May: Word on the Street Festival

2pm: Speaking Art and Life: a Spoken Word Talk

What can spoken word do for creativity, arts and social change? A talk by Melanie Abrahams which explores the ways in which artists, speakers, politicians and many of us -  at some stage or another - have used spoken word ‘to give a good account’.  The talk is followed by a general discussion.  Free but spaces are limited to 20 places and early booking is recommended.

13 May: Word on the Street Festival

5.30pm LMA Book Group: Patience Agbabi’s Telling Tales

Acclaimed poet Patience Agbabi, recently shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for Poetry, reads from her latest poetry collection Telling Tales and talks about her experiences of completing a contemporary retelling of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic text The Canterbury Tales.  5.30pm - 7pm. The event is free but as places are limited, early booking is recommended.

“Inventive, risky, serious and fun."  Jeanette Winterson

Event guidance: 16 years to adult (adult content)

LIVING FOR THE CITY: photos of Panya Banjoko, Joe Coghlan, Jo-Anne 'Spice' Blackwood and Andrew 'Mulletproof' Graves

LIVING FOR THE CITY: Photos of Panya Banjoko, Joe Coghlan, Jo-Anne 'Spice' Blackwood and Andrew 'Mulletproof' Graves

25 April: Lyric Lounge Leicester and Inside Out festival

Living For The City at Curve Theatre

renaissance one presents Living For The City, an exploration of city life and sounds in the East Midlands through a hand-picked soundtrack of poetry and spoken word presented by Andrew ‘Mulletproof’ Graves, Panya Banjoko, Joe Coghlan and Spice (Jo-Anne Blackwood), and beats and music by DJ Psykhomantus.  The event is curated by Melanie Abrahams and produced by renaissance one in partnership with Writing East Midlands and Curve Theatre as part of their Inside Out festival season  Writing East Midlands are the producers of the one-day festival Lyric Lounge Leicester which this event forms a part of.

 

13 March 2015: JOHN AGARD AND BRIAN PATTEN

SYDENHAM ARTS FESTIVAL

HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST YEAR

Patience Agbabi by Lyndon Douglas

Patience Agbabi by Lyndon Douglas

Patience Agbabi Tour 2014

April to November: giving readings from her new book TELLING TALES

We are working with acclaimed poet PATIENCE AGBABI, whose new poetry collection, Telling Tales, is a brilliant retelling of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century, and is published by Canongate.

Click on the Telling Tales section of the site to read about Patience's upcoming events.

Pete The Temp Vs Climate Change

England Tour: Sep to Nov 2014

Pete The Temp is a Poet, a Lover, and a damn fine administrator! In his new multimedia stand up poetry show, Pete attempts to solve climate change using only his mouth! Will he succeed? The show tours up to November and is funded by Arts Council England.

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LONDON IS THE PLACE FOR ME 2014

25 and 26 Oct: A Caribbean Weekend Festival of literature, music and limin'

London Is The Place For Me offered a Caribbean weekend festival of artists and raconteurs inspired by home, diaspora and personal stories, and all with a connection to the Caribbean.  The line-up included Mervyn Morris, Kei Miller, Monique Roffey, John Agard, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Thomas Glave, Abdul Malik, Tracie Morris (US), Anthony Joseph, Malika Booker, Women of Steel, Alexander D Great, Tobago Crusoe, Mangrove Steelband, Ian Dieffenthaller, Charlie Dark, Melanie Abrahams, Sureshot, Jamie Renton and more. Family friendly and offering performances, workshops and events for kids and adults, it was based at The Tabernacle, W11, one of the heartlands of the Caribbean community and was presented by renaissance one and Carnival Village in association with Tilt and Time To Change.  Day Tickets £12.50  Weekend Ticket £20

COMING UP: EVENTS & TOURS

We are thrilled to be collaborating on readings and tours with Jean 'Binta' Breeze, John Agard, Patience Agbabi, Mark Gwynne Jones, Pete Bearder and more.  If you'd like to be kept informed, click on the JOIN THE MAILING LIST tab and sign up to receive our listings.

Photo of Mark Gwynne Jones

Photo of Mark Gwynne Jones

Wordworms!

a new show by Mark Gwynne Jones for ages 7 to 107

Award-winning poet Mark Gwynne Jones offers a new show for ages 7 to 107 that explores the magic and the possibilities of words. 

Offering wild imaginings and exhilarating performance, he invites you to meet the boy with an eye on his index finger, learn to escape school by becoming a cat, and to make friends with a giant toad!  Mark is presenting performances and workshops in the autumn and next spring. Contact renaissance one at hq[at]renaissanceone.co.uk if you are interested in a show coming to your area.

PAST EVENTS

The Mouthy Poets

The Mouthy Poets

19 July: Mouthy Poets presents SAY SUM THIN 7

a one day festival with 50 young poets as your muse

MOUTHY POETS is inviting you to play, collaborate, write and create on 19 July, with 50 young poets as your muse, and with special guest poet John Agard.  Throughout the Nottingham Playhouse venue there will be workshops, scratch shows, interactive activities, a book binding session, and performances suitable for all ages.  Event in association with renaissance one.  An all-day ticket costs £14 (£10 concs).

2013 HIGHLIGHTS

12 DEC: CREATIVE SALON, LONDON (Rich Mix)

a forum for connecting with guest speaker Lemn Sissay

Creative Salon offers a stimulating forum for all who work in, or are interested in, poetry and spoken word, whether you are a writer, artist, practitioner, producer, small business owner, agency, or have a newly created role.  At our salon on 12 December, renowned poet LEMN SISSAY offered his insights and takes part in a Q & A with the audience.

Photo of Mark Gwynne Jones

Photo of Mark Gwynne Jones

18 OCTOBER: We Talk of Pride and Prejudice

A spoken word event for Off The Shelf Festival

As a special project developed for Sheffield's Off The Shelf Festival of Words, a talented group of local writers aged 15 to 21 years and leading poets Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE, Mark Gwynne Jones and Sureshot offered their personal take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and wrote and presented new poems. The project was developed by renaissance one in partnership with Writing Yorkshire and Off The Shelf. 

10 OCT: CREATIVE SALON at Rich Mix

a forum for creativity, connecting and sharing

At the October 2013 Creative Salon the poet, publisher and rock star Jessica Care Moore, who was visiting England from Detroit, offered her insights on writing, performing and developing a career in spoken word and performance.

FRIDAY 27 SEP: A STORY I AM IN - A Benefit Performance

Poetry, Music & Spoken Word celebrating James Berry’s Life in Literature

On 27 September, we presented a Benefit event for poet James Berry who celebrates 90 years of poetry, stories and song in 2014, through a remarkable line-up of nineteen poets, speakers and raconteurs including Roger McGough, Grace Nichols, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ian McMillan, Alastair Niven, Andrew Motion, Michael Rosen, Myra Barrs and John Agard

 

 

17 and 18 AUGUST: PAUL KEENS-DOUGLAS IN LONDON

Come hear Tanti Merle at de Oval & other stories from the international raconteur

PAUL KEENS-DOUGLAS, the famed Trinidadian storyteller, raconteur and public speaker who is also the creator of the famous Carnival Talk Tent in Trinidad, performed for two nights as part of renaissance one and Tilt's summer series of literature at the Tabernacle.

19 Feb: INSPIRED WORD: TONGUE FU WITH SOWETO KINCH, CHRIS REDMOND AND JAN BLAKE

The Royal Albert Hall, Tongue Fu and Renaissance One presents TONGUE FU, one of London’s liveliest spoken word nights, at the Elgar Room  MOBO award-winning and Mercury Music Prize nominated saxophonist and MC SOWETO KINCH; performance poet and musician CHRIS REDMOND; one of Europe's leading storytellers, JAN BLAKE; and the TONGUE FU band.

1 Feb: Hannah Lowe and renaissance one presents Book Launch: Chick by Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe’s first book of poems explores her father, a Chinese-black Jamaican migrant who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London's old East End to support his family. 'Chick' was his gambling nickname.

TV ARTS FEATURES ON SPOKEN WORD

renaissance one on Shoot the Messenger

In 2011 renaissance one teamed up with Vox Africa who produce the TV feature 'Shoot The Messenger', a Vox Africa magazine format show offering performance, insight and discussion, and hosted by Henry Bonsu. Together we developed three pilot TV arts segments showcasing innovative arts spanning the African continent and diaspora.

The first in March spotlighted Caribbean spoken word and Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett click here to watch

The April segment featured Adisa click here to watch

The May-June segment explored the art of 'Liming' with performances by Jean 'Binta' Breeze, click here to watch

WRITERS, CULTURE, TOURS and EVENTS

We produce events, showcase contemporary culture and work with some of the finest artists around

2015 Projects

Looking ahead to Tours and Events this year

In 2015 we will continue to support our roster of writers which includes Patience Agbabi, John Agard, Mark Gwynne Jones, Maggie Harris and Michael Brome through setting up education work, readings and events. 

We're organising events in the UK for some outstanding international writers including Caryl Phillips, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Ladan Osman, Lauren Alleyne and Robert Antoni; get in touch if you would like us to arrange a writer for your event.

Listen to Patience Agbabi on BBC RADIO 4's Front Row

Patience tours England in the autumn as part of her Telling Tales tour, take a look at the range of festivals and events she will be appearing at here
 

JOHN AGARD: poet, playwright and children's author

His new poetry collection 'Travel Light, Travel Dark' is out now

John Agard is an award-winning Guyanese poet, playwright, and writer of children's books.  From 2012 - 2013 he was a recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.  He has won numerous awards and his poems have been featured in the English GCSE anthology since 2002 meaning that many students study his work for their GCSE qualification. A former Writer in Residence at the South Bank Centre and a BBC Poet in Residence, Agard tours around the world to give readings and talks.  As an author of many collections of poetry including We Brits, Alternative Anthem and Clever Backbone his latest poetry collection, Travel Light Travel Dark, was published last year and will be launched on 25 October at the Tabernacle, W11.

Watch a poetry performance by Jean 'Binta' Breeze

Our literature events and work in schools and education settings

Artists Agency & Creative Producers

PASSIONATE ABOUT LITERATURE

RENAISSANCE ONE is a production and artists’ agency that fosters the best talent in literature and spoken word.

Our roster of exclusive clients, and associate artists and practitioners, is drawn from the most articulate and passionate in writing, performance and ideas today.

Because we sign up only the most exciting artists our small, focused company can work closely with them to foster connections and develop talents to build a long-lasting career in the arts.

Because we sign up only the most exciting artists our small, focused company can work closely with them to foster connections and develop talents to build a long-lasting career in the arClick here to see the range of writers and performers we have worked with over the years.