We Speak Poetry – Youtube Series

In association with Coventry Alive and Positive Images Festival, I am launching a brand-new YouTube series with the aim of shining a spotlight on quality poetry from a variety of cultures and languages. A second intention is to bring non-English-language poetry to an English-speaking audience.

I am looking for volunteers to record themselves (or a friend/relative) reading a poem that they have written. I want to promote translations and would be especially interested in finding readers/poets who could share their work in both English and another language – this way people who don’t speak the other language can hear the musicality of the poem in its original form and also hear the English version so that they have an understanding of it too. Videos should also include a brief introduction to the poet and the poem. 

Poets writing in English are equally welcome to submit their videos to this project as long as they fit in with the aim of creating an online collection of poetry from as many different countries/cultures as possible - a sort of global poetry tour!

Why should I take part?

I haven’t previously come across a YouTube series that focuses completely on poems from other cultures and languages. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your poetry heard and to be part of a series that becomes known for sharing high quality poetry.
Please note, you do not have to be a professional poet to participate in this, you just need a love of words and a willingness to share what you have written. 

The technical stuff:

Video should ideally be around five minutes long (however, there is definitely flexibility here). You will need to record the video yourself using a camera/phone etc… 
Videos must be filmed in landscape and files will need to be sent via WhatsApp, We Transfer (or equivalent) or email. 

If you are interested in taking part or for more information, please email Emilie: [email protected]

#WeSpeakPoetry is here!

Our first poet is Karima Brooke who brings you two beautiful poems in Spanish and English. A new poetry video will go out each Friday and you will be introduced to people and words from across the globe.
Click below to watch this

Here is the second poem

Here is second instalment of the #WeSpeakPoetry series, Maria Cohut is a very talented Romanian poet. I hope you enjoy it!

Here is the third poem

It's a little different to the others because the poet, Matloob Bokhari, does not have a smart phone or access to a recording device but he very much wanted to be part of the project. He therefore asked me to read his poem. English is not his first language but he enjoys writing in it.   


Here is the fourth poem 

The poet is David Copson, a Coventry poet and creative writing tutor whose family is from Cuba. He is fluent in Spanish and although this poem is performed in English, you will see another video from David in a future episode that contains a Spanish poem. 


Here is the fifth poem

This week's poem comes all the way from Kampala, Uganda. Oscar Munir is very active in several online poetry groups and publishes a daily poem. 


Here is the sixth poem

Daniel Kay (author of View From a Wheelchair) join the line-up of poets. As well as writing the poem, Daniel composed the music and his sister Lisa took the photographs. The poem is read by his mum Angie. His video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq7YvBbsr9c&t=9s

Here is the seventh poem

Here's the latest #WeSpeakPoetry video. You may recognise Karima from Week 1, where she did a poem in Spanish. This time around she reads a Makhdoom Mohiuddin poem in Urdu followed by her translation in English. Video also contains a textile that Karima created, the four lower panels depict the BLM movements, two of the scenes are from the Coventry march. 

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X1358qeaQ

Here is the eighth poem

This week's poet is the wonderfully talented Yara Richter, her creative practice is experimental, intuitive, and diverse in style. she creates and combines poetry, video art, photography, sound art and electronic music (her artistic skills are very evident in the way the video has been filmed). Yara performs her poem in German. Here's a link to her website: https://yararichter.com/

Here is the link to this week's fabulous video: https://youtu.be/_PGXqJJ9bW0

Here is the ninth poem

This week's video comes from Coventry poet Robert Gainer. These words will absolutely stay with you! The original version is in Serbian followed by an English translation. 


Here is the tenth poem

It's that time of the week! Another familiar face this time - Karima Brooke brings us a fantastic second poem in Urdu. 
About Karima's art that is used in the video: The first one shows Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and below him Sabra Bano who sang the poem in 1974 in the Black Saree Protest and made it famous. There are also images of it being used in very recent protests in India.
The second piece depicts child exploitation at all stages of cotton production. 

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOpB2G2e27E&t=10s 

Here is the eleventh poem

This week features Jason N Smith, a West Midlands poet whose poetry is influenced by his life experiences. His poetry really captures the multicultural essence of this project. 





Continue reading