We’re really happy to be kicking off our Word On The Street programme for Back To Ours festival in Hull.

Poetry and spoken word is thriving at the moment, not only in Hull but across the UK. Up and down the country, people are turning up to pub function rooms, community centres, working men’s social clubs, theatres and bars and performing their own poetry to large, enthusiastic crowds.

If you’ve never been to a good poetry night, I can understand why you might be sceptical at first – memories of analysing poems at school can put going to a poetry night as far from a good night out as you can image – but a good night out is exactly what they are. They offer something that’s completely unique, and they create a platform for people in a community to come together and talk to one another in a lively, relaxed environment.

Up and down the country, people are turning up to pub function rooms and community centres, performing their own poetry to large, enthusiastic crowds

Long-standing events in Hull such as Away With Words at Union Mash Up, Women Of Words at Kardomah 94, Head In A Book at Hull Central Library and the Pub Corner Poets at Adelphi have brought great writers to perform in the city, and encouraged local poets to share the stage with them.

Word On The Street is about continuing this good work. We’re running pop-up workshops and events in areas of Hull as part of Back To Ours festival for Hull City of Culture.

Thick Richard stuns audiences with his potty-mouthed narratives of Mancunian debauchery

We’ll be out and about hosting pre-festival workshops on Thursday 25 May, before the festival shows at Freedom CentreNorth Point Shopping Centre and the William Gemmell Club. You’ll be able to hear acts like the Manchester-based Thick Richard, who stuns audiences across the North with his potty-mouthed narratives of Mancunian debauchery.

Then there’s Vanessa Kisuule, pictured, who’s performed on the BBC, Woman’s Hour, Sky TV and has gut-punching poetry that hits you in the feels.

Rotherham’s Gav Roberts is also one of the most accessible, likeable poets, being dubbed “impossible to dislike” by Write Out Loud.

Poetry is one of the best nights out around. And tickets are only £2.50/£5. Why not give it a punt and see?

If you fancy giving writing and performing a go as well, come along to our workshops at:

  • Thursday 25 May, 2pm-4pm: Freedom Centre, Preston Road, east Hull
  • Thursday 25 May, 5pm-7pm: William Gemmell Club, Anlaby Road, west Hull

Back To Ours event tickets are available online.

See you at the front.

Word on The Street is a Freedom Festival Arts Trust spoken word project in partnership with A Firm Of Poets, Wordlife and Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services. It is funded by James Reckitt Library Trust and Arts Council England.