Write to Life members on the BBC big screen in Portsmouth
To mark World Poetry Day on 21 March, videos of two members of Freedom from Torture's Write to Life group reciting their poems will be screened in Guildhall Square – the heart of Portsmouth city centre.
The poems, by writers and former clients of Freedom from Torture Noah and Haymanot, will be screened alongside internationally renowned poets. The hour-long event, which begins at 6pm, is screened by Portsmouth arts group Tongues and Grooves and held in conjunction with the BBC and Portsmouth University. It is part of the BBC Big Screen event, which sees public screenings of live coverage, news and events across the UK.
If you can't make it to Portsmouth, you can watch Noah and Haymanot recite their poetry in these videos. In Noah's video he explains: 'When you write... it's one of the best ways that you can leave yourself.'
In this video, Haymanot reads from her piece, 'I am Alive'. She talks about moving away from the darkness in this uplifting performance. She exclaims 'I have renewed myself, I am born again.'
Interested in poetry recital? As part of a collaboration with Tamasha Theatre, Write to Life members took part in a masterclass on performing their own work. The film of this masterclass, aptly titled 'Finding a Voice' is a fascinating insight into writing, improvisation and storytelling.
Diverse performances at the Big Screen event
In Portsmouth, some poems from contributors will appear as two-minute films, whilst others will be written form onscreen. Poets taking part in the screening have backgrounds in Uganda, Lebanon, Poland, India, Pakistan, Italy, Guyana and Trinidad.
Each poet will be represented by a single poem. The full list of poets appearing is; Shanta Acharya, Rowyda Amin, Marisha Arnold, Malika Booker, Peter Brennan, Martyn Crucifix, Maria Jasztrebska, Mimi Khalvati, Nick Makhoa, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Mario Petrucci, Shazea Quarashi, Roger Robinson, Jacqui Rowe, Omar Sabbegh, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne and Jan Koft Tsekpo, in addition to Haymanot and Noah from Freedom from Torture.
Poems will continue being screened on an individual basis throughout the year and will also be appearing on the BBC Big Screen in Dover and possible at other Big Screens throughout the year.