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Polylingual Open Mic Night with Somali Week Express & Off the Shelf Festival

Israac Somali Community Centre

Warda Yassin, a young Somali-British woman, smiles to the side. She wears a green headscarf and a green dress.

The world needs to hear your voice! Join local Somali-British poet Warda Yassin for a poetry open mic night with a polylingual flavour. We are looking for poems written in all languages from Arabic to Zapotec, including English, Somali and every other language spoken in Sheffield.

This is an open mic night where English is not the default and all languages are welcome. Poems you have written yourself, poems mixing your mother tongue with the latest online slang, verses from your grandmother's home town, your favourites from Instagram or the wisdom of your forefathers in rhyming couplets, even your own English language compositions. We invite you to jump on stage and read to a supportive audience.

If you don’t fancy getting up, that’s fine too, poets are needed but wallflowers are welcome!

The event will be hosted by Warda Yassin, a British-Somali poet born and raised in Sheffield and supported on stage by some local up-and-coming Somali poets.

This event will take place at Somali Week Express in Sheffield, hosted by Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, in partnership with Off the Shelf Festival. This will be a weekend of events with Somali artists, writers and comedians at Israac Community Centre on 4-5 November 2023. The Poetry Translation Centre is also hosting a poetry translation workshop on Sunday 5 November at the festival, exploring the craft of translation in a friendly collaborative workshop open to all.

This event is supported by Arts Council England.

Book a free ticket here.

More information about your host:

Warda Yassin is an award-winning British born Somali poet and secondary school teacher based in Sheffield. She was a winner of the New Poets Prize for her debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom. She was the former Sheffield Poet Laureate and a member of Hive poetry collective.

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