BZ with WAPPY, Keat House Aug 2011


“In November 2011, we won funding from ‘Help a Capital Child’ to enable us expand our remit to offer more workshops, in Ealing Central Library and Lifeline Learning Centre (Hanwell). Our new members were able to develop their creative writing and performance skills, communication with peers and group work, develop confidence in self-expression plus listening to other peers of the same age and of different ages. Twenty – six of our project participants undertook work (i.e. the reworking of Dickens’ ‘Hard Times’) at Ealing Central Library from December 15th 2011 to 16th February 2012 which led them to do a performance at the 7th Huntley Archives Conference, at the London Metropolitan Archives on 1th February 2012 ( We would also aim to produce a second anthology of creative writing incorporating work which has been undertaken this year to date and future work that ties into an Olympic theme. “


On August 26th 2011 in the evening ten WAPPY authors, (13½ and 14+), along with some parents and staff and friends/collaborators of WAPPY (i.e. Anjan Saha and Nicole Moore), spent the evening at Keats House in Hampstead in the company of the great performance dub poet, author and campaigner, Professor Benjamin Zephaniah. He explained from the outset he was exploring for the first time a chance to discuss openly and freely in an informal setting with the public present ‘What Was the Point of Poetry?'

Two thirds of the audience comprised WAPPY associated people and we, along with others, including organiser, Maureen Roberts of the London Metropolitan Archives, were given rare access to Benjamin Zephaniah’s personal and political journeys in relation to his poetry and he, in turn, gave each member of the audience including our WAPPY authors the chance to express their views about what poetry means to us and in some instances (i.e. David Larbi, 13, and Acquaye McCalman, 17,) share their poetry too!

In a relaxed and humorous fashion, we learnt from the great orator, amongst other things, that performing one’s poetry was the most fundamental ingredient to doing poetry. Writing, especially the publication of that writing, though important, does not always have as great a political and social reach since not everyone reads poetry off the page or can access books or alternative reading physical literary mediums easily, if at all. It was a moment of magic!! For a more personal and specific account of the event read Poet/Editor, Shangwe’s Founder, Director, Nicole Moore’s blog