renaissance one

Issue Five: April - May 2011

April - May 2011 Issue


  • WHAT'S ON: 3 May events - Tongue Fu, London Liming and Dan Rhodes Book Launch
  • NEW TV ARTS FEATURE: renaissance one on Vox AfricaNEWS: TV Arts Feature on Shoot the Messenger
  • FEATURE: Wandsworth Arts Festival
  • 3 MINUTES WITH: Poet and Tongue Fu founder Chris Redmond
  • RECOMMENDED: Events by The Reader, Apples & Snakes and Oval House Theatre
This is an image of Barry Yourgrau

photo of Barry Yourgrau in Tokyo


Tongue Fu, London Liming and Dan Rhodes Book Launch

May offers three events of poetry, fiction, spoken word and satirical calypso to help the summery weather along.

2 MAY: on May Bank Holiday we support the irrepressible Tongue Fu with a sizzling line up of Soweto Kinch, Salena Godden, Joe Driscoll and hosts/impresarios Chris Redmond and Shane Solanki. MORE INFO

15 MAY: Tilt's London Liming: where spoken word meets carnival lands at BAC with a uproarious line-up of words, songs, music and performance by multi-award winners Jo Bell, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Adisa, Alexander D Great (Calypso Monarch 2010), Melanie Abrahams and BAC Beatbox Academy in a sociable setting. Produced by Tilt 'Spoken word pioneers' Channel 4 MORE INFO

Watch a video of Jean (poem: Tribute to Amiri Baraka) HERE

19 MAY: renaissance one is thrilled to be working with Canongate to host fiction writer Dan Rhodes, winner of last year's E.M. Forster Award.  We launch his new book Little Hands Clapping at the Idler Academy on 19 May, with guest writer and multimedia performer Barry Yourgrau reading from his book Gangster Fables.  Free.

Photo of Adisa


renaissance one on Shoot the Messenger

We have teamed up with Vox Africa who produce Shoot The Messenger, a TV magazine show of news, discussion, insight and performance, presented by Henry Bonsu. renaissance one’s aim is to showcase innovative arts and culture from the African continent and diaspora.


The April segment features Adisa discussing writing,  mentoring, and performing poems live in the studio. Click here to watch (45 mins in).

The first arts segment in March spotlighted Caribbean spoken word and Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett click here to watch (45 mins in)

This is an image of Dan Rhodes


Wandsworth Arts Festival

Wandsworth Council celebrates the arts throughout May with Wandsworth Arts Festival 2011, a packed programme of theatre, visual art, film, photography, poetry and music. Visit the festival site by clicking here.

With a theme of Artist-led, Home Grown, there is an emphasis on a mix of local and national talent, and plenty of opportunities to get involved, including Next Stop Love, four fake dolly bus stops placed in different street locations of Wandsworth indicating human emotions such as Love and Fear instead of geographical locations, and The Shimmy, a showcase outdoor arts day set against the River Thames with thousands (literally) of origami butterflies made by Wandsworth residents. 

The festival is organised by the council's arts team, in association with local professional and amateur arts organisations, community groups and individuals.  It is part-funded by Arts Council England and sponsored by Southside Shopping Centre and St. James.

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze is working with the festival team as the first Poet-In-Residence of the festival.  Look out for her at the London Liming event in association with BAC on 15 May.  More information here

Photo of Chris Redmond and the Tongue Fu Band


Poet and Tongue Fu Founder

We think poet and impresario Chris Redmond is one to watch on the spoken word scene. We ask him about his passions, influences, his new show and Tongue Fu.

What are you most passionate about?

Life, Family, Words, Music, Tongue Fu, Stories, Space, Drums, Kettle Chips, Tree climbing, Performance, People, Celebrations, Conversation, Learning, Teaching

what 3 words would you say best describe you?

Inquisitive human being


How did you get into your area of work?

I saw a door, ajar, wandered in and introduced myself.  There was a stage and some artists, some poets and musicians. It felt like home, so I stayed. 

Personal highlights so far?

Building Tongue Fu into one of the best and busiest poetry nights in London, hosting brilliant poets, performers and musicians and performing to ever increasing, enthusiastic audiences; performing poetry to 2000 people at Shepherds Bush Empire.. the biggest crowd so far; having a poem chosen for Radio 4's Pick of The Week; getting paid! 


What 3 words best describe the spoken word and music style that TF encourages?

Spontaneous Joyful Genius


What creative masterpiece do you wish you'd written or created?

I work with young bands as a teacher/mentor. One of them had a song called Carnage of the Dark Gods which for me was perfection - total abandon, loud, ramshackle rock and roll with pure raw joy at its heart.  I wish I could have made that when I was 12 years old!


Any upcoming projects you're excited by?

My show The Lost Menagerie, an exploration of breath, death, serpent myths and sunlight which I'm taking to Edinburgh this year, and making an album too.


What's an important piece of insider knowledge you have as a writer and performer?

Dame Judy Dench once said that when she starts a new job, she always leaves her coat and bag by the door in case she feels she's not up to the task and has to bolt. I like that.  There's a mixture of confidence and vulnerability that needs to be there for the work to be alive and dangerous. 

For more information on Chris click HERE


The Reader: Reading for Wellbeing Conference

17 May at Floral Pavilion, Wirral

This conference will bring together 250 readers and professionals to find out how literature can help people in their jobs, communities and lives.  With guest speakers from the USA including Pulitzer and Orange-prize winning novelist, Marilynne Robinson, author and researcher Professor Maryanne Wolf and Professor Rick Rylance (ARHC).  More information via THE READER

Apples & Snakes in Soho featuring Jean 'Binta' Breeze

31 May at Soho Theatre

The charismatic queen of dub poetry, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, strides into Soho with a bagful of goodies from her thirty-year career.  Expect riddym ravings, duppy dances and rebel songs from the poet they call 'the one-woman festival'.  Plus Yorkshire spitfire Steve Tasane and Fatima Al Matar, the Coventry-Kuwaiti phenomenon. More info via APPLES & SNAKES

London via Lagos - a daring festival of new plays by British-Nigerian playwrights

3 May to 10 July at Oval House Theatre

The London via Lagos Festival offers three radically different visions of the relationship between Nigeria and the UK.  Each play investigates today's Britain and reflects the vigour and passion of Nigeria.  Co-produced by British-African company, Spora Stories, it features new work from two African women playwrights, Lydia Adetunji and Ade Solanke, and a new play by award-winning Arinze Kene.  More information via OVAL HOUSE

Wasafiri at the Festival of Asian Literature

25 May at Asia House: Ananda Devi, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Tabish Khair

Join eminent writers whose evocations of Indian Ocean worlds have established new literary geographies and whose work continues to re-define the landscapes of international contemporary writing.  The festival includes contributions from Hirsh Sawhney, Fatima Bhutto, Susheila Nasta, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Moniza Alvi, Imtiaz Dharker and Daljit Nagra. More information via ASIA HOUSE 

Quick facts

Photo of Henry Bonsu

Vox Africa’s 'Shoot the Messenger'

  • The Programme: Shoot the Messenger is an hour of passionate debate every Sunday about issues that matter to Africans at home and abroad.  Presenter Henry Bonsu and his panel of guests navigate through the weekly paper review, the big stories of the week, events, books, arts and culture.
  • The Presenter: Henry Bonsu was born in Manchester of Ghanaian heritage and is a modern languages graduate from Oxford University. He has worked extensively in radio and TV, has written for the Evening Standard, the Times and The Guardian, and in 2006 launched Colourful, a DAB radio station for people who love music, news and current affairs.
  • The Station: VoxAfrica is the first Panafrican, bilingual (French and English) and independent TV channel broadcasting on Sky Channel 218, in Africa via satellite and online.

Visit the Vox Africa website

renaissance one

Who Are We?

Passionate about literature

renaissance one are producers and advocates who work across literature artforms - from poetry and prose to talks, spoken word, festivals and education work.

Our activity involves

  • Writer representation and brokerage
  • Producing events and launches
  • Workshops
  • Tours
  • Project management and Consultancy
  • Mentoring emerging artists and practitioners

Look out for guest editors and new features in the coming months.

Contact us hq[at]

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