Eshiva (Love.Light) Wright tells us how Urban Word Collective has gone from strength to strength…
“From strength to strength we like to think,” as Urban Word Collective (UWC) continue to build a reputation and further establish our cause- that of raising the profile of the Lyrically Justified platform; the anthologies and it’s diversified contributors, interlinking safe environments and collective consciousness.
Lyrically Justified (volume 2) was officially published late 2017 with support of ACE, Ujima Radio, BBC Bristol, Co-Resist, and membership to DAN. We launched at Hamilton House followed by Waterstones in the early months of 2018. “Well done!” remarked Arkbound, the publisher, about the presentation and the responsive capacity crowd. Waterstones were amicable and impressed, which was encouraging. Volunteers have been crucial in our capacity to manage all challenges so far, and we’ve adopted an appreciative mind-set, to credit them whenever and however possible.
The Audience, KB, Dareece James – Waterstones 2018 – By Nicole Gehle
Recently with partners, we’ve hosted our live element Lyrically Justified – Speaks Volumes, with at Cool Corner, then Vitality Bristol where we met up with UK Rapper, Writer and Political activist (what we would call an Artivist) Akala who was grateful for a copy of the book and keen to support.
But what next, you may wonder? We will be bopping through Bristol; catch us at Spirit Fest, Harbourside Festival, then Redfest. And staying true to our ethos that every person’s voice and their story is important, UWC and the LJ platform have extended our partnership with Ujima CIC and (alongside Miles Chambers) will present as part of a Radio show – Lyrical, due come what May/June 2018. We’ll also be presenting featured Poets at the Bristol Old Vic come June 10th as part of Ujima Nights.
‘We’re getting there‘ said Shaun Clarke, Compiler of the anthologies, and Co-Curator of live showcases.
‘We’re still working on the website, and playing catch up as opportunities come thick and fast, so it’s a case of managing all without compromising quality. Applying adequate time and energy to specific events – tailoring our presentations. All that while running implicit campaigns and maintaining effective communications.’
‘Apart from developing partnerships of mutual benefit, the good news is we’ve identified how we can navigate adversities which helps us focus,’ Shaun continues. Given that there’s an atmosphere of change in terms of diversity UWC seems to fit right in. ‘Do we have the capacity to reach our ultimate aim to become an essential household name? Well if we need 11 players and subs to be promoted to the Super league, although we have the potential, we’re not quite there.’
What is ground breaking is that UWC have seen Poets appear in spaces and venues traditionally considered reserved for the privileged few; a trend set to continue. We have plans (to sell books and keep showcasing emerging voices) and are putting them into motion. With a clear vision for the future, a more diverse and dedicated team is on the cards. We’re ambitious and have work to do to fulfill all the potential we have.
Vitality 2018 Photos (featuring Kabbo Ferdinand and Nia Bimkubwa), by Mike Steel
Maybe it’s you, someone close, or a community you know that could benefit from connecting to our collective of published and spoken-word poets, addressing a range of current and societal issues such as mental-health, Identity and diverse cultural celebration? Get involved, like us on Facebook, share our stories, get a book or two, or consider submitting. We are Urban Word Collective and with our contributors say; “We are Lyrically Justified.”
Reach us online: lyricallyjustified.co.uk or mail: firstname.lastname@example.org