about human writes

Boomsatsuma is excited to announce the involvement with a brand new poetry writing and performing project for young people in South West England, Human Writes. Human Writes, is designed for young people aged 14 and above and is a continuation of the successful 2015 Word of the West competition, which saw 11 young people become poets in residence in libraries across the West of England. The project which has been initiated by Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire libraries is funded by Arts Council England and managed by boomsatuma as part of its programme of creative activities for young people.  

Six schools have now chosen to take part in the Human Writes project: Broadlands Academy, Oldfield School, Writhlington School, Patchway Community College, Abbeywood Community School, Bradley Stoke Community School and will be working with Patchway and Keynsham Libraries.

As part of Human Writes, 6 young Poet Laureates will be chosen to represent their schools. The Poets Laureates will be commissioned to  write poems as directed by the project Artistic Director and award winning poet, Joelle Taylor; who will also mentor each student over the course of the year.  

Joelle is a performance poet, playwright, spoken word artist and author from Lancashire who is now based in London. She is the  Performance Poetry Slam Champion and since 2001 she has been the Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, the UK's biggest youth poetry slam, run by The Poetry Society and the longest running spoken word education programme in the country. In 2015, she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society Arts, as well as being named one of Southbank Centre’s Nelson Mandela Change Makers for positively affecting cultural Britain.

In June, the young poets will be attending a creative writing residency run by the Arvon Foundation in Devon. Totleigh Barton, the first ever Arvon centre, is a 16th-century manor house in one of the most peaceful and idyllic parts of the country. As well as Joelle Taylor, the students will also get to work with Anthony Anaxagoru on the residency.

Anthony is of Cypriot origin and was born in North East London. He is passionate about social problems amongst young people focusing on issues such as racism, history, religion, addiction and abuse, and encouraging young people to speak out and voice their thoughts. Amongst many projects, he works with the Poetry Society assisting in numerous creative writing projects and mentoring other young poets in developing their ideas and expressing themselves through a positive creative medium.

After the residency, the young poets will work in their schools to promote literary activity and to get more young people reading and writing work of their own. The young Poet Laureates will also work with the libraries in their area, to create a programme of poetry activities geared towards young people – workshops, readings, performances for a whole year.

View a selection of the poems written during the residency below as an excerpt from the blog.

Human Writes would not be possible without the support of:


word in the west

View performances from the predecessor of Human Writes- Word In The West, and download the previous anthology of poems.