What's On

Poetry Hour

Women in Focus festival, poetry hour, international women's day 2018, poplar union, east London, Paula varjack, Maria Ferguson
Women in Focus festival, poetry hour, international women's day 2018, poplar union, east London, Paula varjack, Maria Ferguson

Sit back and enjoy the rhymes, rhythms and raps of the Women in Focus Poetry Hour!

With lyrics that can touch your soul, open your mind and split your sides, these incredibly talented women are some of the most exciting poets and spoken word artists performing in the UK today.

Line Up

Paula Varjack

Women in Focus, International Women's Day 2018, poplar union, comedy, poetry hour, east London

Paula Varjack is a writer, filmmaker and performance maker. Her work explores identity, the unsaid, and making the invisible visible. Trained in stage management, filmmaking and performance, she enjoys working across and combining disciplines; performance, theatre, documentary and spoken word. She has performed at numerous arts festivals and cultural spaces including: Glastonbury Festival, Berlin International Literature Festival, Vault Festival, Chelsea Theatre, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Richmix, Wilton’s Music Hall, Battersea Arts Centre, The Southbank Centre, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Musicbox Lisbon, Es Balluard Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Photographer’s Gallery.

Maria Ferguson

international women's day 2018, women in focus festival, poplar union, east London, poetry hour

Maria Ferguson is a writer and performer from Essex. She has performed extensively across the UK as well as at festivals such as Bestival, Latitude and Secret Garden Party. She has been commissioned by Roundhouse, The Royal Academy of Art and BBC Radio One. Her debut show ‘Fat Girls Don’t Dance,’ is published by Oberon Books and explores the theme of body image by merging storytelling and killer moves. It is currently touring after sold out shows in London, Leicester, Bristol and the Edinburgh Fringe, where it was met with critical acclaim. She is currently working on her second show, ‘Essex Girl.’

Extremely moving, yet deeply witty‘ The Independent
Candid and disarming‘ The Stage

Nikky Norton-Shafau

Women in Focus Festival, International Women's Day 2018, Poplar Union, Poetry Hour, Spoken Word, Arts, Culture, East London

Nikky is a little bit strange…She wants to become a storybook. Since 2015 she has been trying and failing to become a book – bending herself into pieces of origami, eating spaghetti soup and sniffing encyclopaedias – fail!

Watch her ‘pop up’ as she showcases her adventure so far through poetic ponderings whilst inviting you to write your way in.

Previous appearances at She Says, Forest Of The Imagination and MMU Playful Learning Conference.


Michelle Mangal

women in focus festival, international women's day 2018, poplar union, poetry hour, east London, arts, culture

Michelle Mangal is a writer and poet from London. That Gleaming Moment- Notes on Survival is her first play, exploring surviving everything life can throw at you – heartbreak, anxiety and unusual childhoods. She has performed at spoken word events across London and the UK, wowing diverse crowds at the Black Cultural Archives; Shambala and Chin Up festivals, and Ziferblat’s heart spoken night. Her first poetry book, All The Things I Learnt From You, a raw and dynamic exploration of what it means to survive as a woman today, will be published in January 2018.


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