Arrive engaged and prepare to leave inspired as we host a celebration of poetry and the written word, featuring a selection of the UK’s brightest upcoming artists.

Inspired by the mehfils of old, which invited small groups into the homes and palaces of South Asian nobility to experience live entertainment, this annual and intimate event promises to stay with you long after the evening draws to a close.

Compere Kate Fox guides you through an unforgettable spoken-word showcase, featuring a headlining performance from John Hegley, and appearances by Joelle Taylor, John Siddique, Jo Brandon and Jason Allen-Paisant.

To book for this event you’ll be taken through to the Bradford Theatres website. Please note that the £2 booking fee will be deducted at the point at sale.

About The Poets

Jason Allen-Paisant

Jason Allen-Paisant is the author of Thinking with Trees (Carcanet Press, 2021). His work has appeared in numerous magazines and has been featured on the BBC. He lives in Leeds with his partner and two daughters.

Jo Brandon

Jo Brandon was born in 1986 and is based in West Yorkshire. Jo has a pamphlet, Phobia, and two full-length collections: The Learned Goose (2015) and Cures (2021) all with Valley Press. Jo’s poetry has been published widely and she was Bradford Literature Festival’s first Digital Poet in Residence.

John Siddique

John Siddique has dedicated his life to honouring the authentic in our human experience. He is the author of a number of books ranging from poetry and memoir to non-fiction. His teachings and writings have featured in Time Magazine, The Guardian, Granta, on CNN and the BBC. Signposts of The Spiritual Journey is his eighth book.

John Hegley

John Hegley was born in London and studied at the University of Bradford. He was host of Border Television’s Word of Mouth poetry series and was a Perrier Comedy award nominee.  In 2019 John was one of the poets involved in Putting You in the Picture, a project which took children to art galleries to delve into and respond to works of art.

Joelle Taylor Headshot

Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright and author. Taylor founded SLAMbassadors, the UK’s national youth slam championships, for the Poetry Society in 2001, and was its Artistic Director and National Coach until 2018. She is the host and co-curator of Out-Spoken, the UK’s Centre’s premier poetry and music club, resident at the Southbank Centre Purcell Room. Taylor is the author of three poetry collections, three plays, and a collection of short stories, The Night Alphabet (forthcoming). She is widely anthologised and her work is taught as part of the OCR GCSE syllabus. A Radio 4 documentary about her work, Butch, was broadcast in 2020. She has also featured on The Verb R3, Power Lines R4, Poetry Please Radio 4, Educating the East End (ITV), and We Belong Here (BBC).Taylor is a Fellow of the RSA, received a Change Maker Award from the Southbank Centre in recognition of the impact SLAMbassadors has had on British culture, and was longlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship in 2017 and 2019.