Caleb Femi, the acclaimed Young People’s Laureate for London, will be visiting Croydon Library on Wednesday 5 July 2017 (5pm-6pm) to inspire young people to express their voices thorough poetry.

Part of a two-year tour of Outer London boroughs in partnership with local libraries, led by London’s leading writers’ agency Spread the Word, Femi will facilitate a creative conversation about the young people’s lives, their relationship with the arts and how they can use poetry to reflect their experiences.

The participants will have the opportunity to help Femi write a specially-commissioned poem, to be filmed, about their experiences as young people in Croydon.

Caleb Femi, Young People’s Laureate for London, said: “The recent general election, and the number of young people who voted, shows that they have always wanted to part of the social, political and economic conversations of the country. We see them expressing themselves through poetry on Twitter and other social media platforms, or they are putting poems on YouTube.

“It was important to extend the tour to the Outer London boroughs, such as Croydon, as often the conversation or implementation of outreach and artistic projects leaves out marginalised young people who are expected to travel into Central London to experience the arts and literature. We are bringing the conversation to their backyard.”

Spread the Word’s focus on libraries as creative hubs is essential to the project’s success to show that despite the growth in technology and social media, libraries are not obsolete for young people.

Femi, whose work has been recognised in the Dazed100 listing, added: “Libraries offer a quiet refuge to writers and can provide an escape and a place to congregate with other young people to share creative ideas. Young people want their voices heard and they see poetry as accessible and their preferred way of making us hear them. My role is to act as a facilitator, to listen to them, their experience and ideas. I want them to be able to use poetry to engage with what they want to focus on.”

During the session, young people will have the opportunity to have a say in how the programme is run and will have an opportunity to write poetry with the chance to perform alongside Caleb at a big showcase in October 2017 in London.


Any young people interested in taking part, please email Anita Cottle at Anita.Cottle@carillionservices.co.uk