Welcome to the first of our Zone In Sofa Sessions, a series of live poetry nights our IGTV channels. These sessions are introducing young people to some of the UK’s most exciting poets and writers.
Catch up on our first Sofa Sessions event below which took place on 9 June with amazing performances from award-winning young poets and musicians from diverse backgrounds.
Find out more about the poets and watch the recording in the videos below or on our Zone In Instagram.
Emcee: Nabeelah Hafeez (poet)
First half: Will Harris (poet), Kirsty Taylor (poet), Lisa Luxx (poet)
Second half: Phoebe Wagner (poet), Matt Abbott (poet), Karim Kamar (pianist)
Performers: Part 1
Will Harris is a writer of Chinese-Indonesian heritage, born and based in London. His work explores themes of race, identity and masculinity. He works in schools leading workshops and also teaches for The Poetry School.
His debut pamphlet of poems, All this is implied was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year and shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award.
In 2018 he released his essay Mixed-Race Superman and ‘SAY’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
In 2019 he won a Poetry Fellowship from the Arts Foundation.
Lisa Luxx is a queer writer, performer and activist of British Syrian heritage.
Her poetry explores themes of freedom, healing, mobilisation and inquiry and has featured on BBC Radio 4, VICE TV and ITV. She has done readings for Burberry, Selfridges and her local Women's Centre and was named one of the top 4 queer poets by Diva magazine.
Her 2017 collection of poems and essays called The 4th Brain follows the journey of a millennial searching for connection through internet, sisterhood and [r]evolutions.
In 2018 Luxx was awarded the Outspoken Prize of Performance Poetry 2018 and was shortlisted for the Peace Poetry Prize 2016 and Sabotuer Awards Best Spoken Word Performer 2017.
As well as featuring in the media she has headlined many international literary events including shows at Royal Albert Hall, Latitude Festival and Station Beirut.
Luxx is currently working on upcoming projects - Breastmilk Martini and Honey Eyes.
Performers: Part 2
Phoebe Wagner is a poet and theatre-maker from London. She is also a Barbican Young Poet and part of Living House Theatre.
She studied at Rose Bruford College on the European Theatre Arts course and her debut pamphlet 'The Body You're In' is out now with Bad Betty Press. The pamphlet takes a witty look into the fierceness of vulnerability and politics in the body and mind.
Phoebe also this year recorded a special online scratch of her show ‘Crep Protect’ on the Omnibus Theatre Instagram page. The show explores the mundane stories in her trainer collection – she has over 20 pairs!
During quarantine her goal was to dance in her room alone more when she’s feeling sad and perfect the 'social distance' dance on her daily walks.
Matt Abbott is a poet, educator and activist from Wakefield. His debut one-man show Two Little Ducks received 5* reviews at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and on a UK theatre tour in 2018. The show’s poems were published as his debut collection in 2018.
Matt’s first kids’ poetry collection A Hurricane in my Head channels playful rebellion, school life and home life. The collection challenges stereotypes in society and finds joy in the world without the need for technology.
Matt is also an ambassador for Eureka! The National Children’s Museum and Trinity Homeless Projects.
Karim Kamar is a neo-classical pianist & composer from London.
He has been performing as a solo pianist since 2013 and has performed at almost every major music venue in London including: The Jazz Cafe, The Roundhouse, Ronnie Scotts, Southbank Centre and The Royal Albert Hall.
Along with Writer & Poet, Anthony Anaxagorou, he also runs a monthly live music night called Out-Spoken, which showcases poetry recitals and new music.