Shoot from the Lip is Warwick University’s biggest poetry collective started in October 2012 and founded and coordinated by Zena Agha. Shoot from the Lip has come a long way since its inception: it was created in an attempt to introduce poetry to those who perhaps weren’t able to easily access it as well as making spoken word more mainstream at the university of Warwick. There are two main branches of the project, first running poetry slams in Leamington Spa and the second delivering poetry and writing workshops to young people in the surrounding area. We secured funding from the Lord Rootes memorial fund at Warwick University which faciliated new and interesting ventures. Shoot from the Lip is currently co-ordinated by Jack McGowan.
Shoot from the Lip is made up of a group of Warwick University students from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, both writers and non-writers and including all year groups from first years to PhD students. The collective itself is relatively small, with only ten members in its first year but all members are full of passion and commitment and our size was an asset, allowing us to be organized and honest.
2. Poetry slams: A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing
At the heart of our project are the poetry slams which take place in Leamington Spa. We run slams 5 annually, four ‘heats’ and the Grand Slam – they are immensely popular with students and anyone can enter to compete. The winner of the 2012-3 poetry slam was Nicki Williams who got involved with the Shoot from the Lip workshops and went on to reach the Finals of the prestigious Camden Round House poetry slam later that summer. The 2013-4 winner was Lucy Ogilvie and 2015-6 was Oliver Higgins.
The poetry slams’ popularity resulted in Shoot from the Lip collaborating with Oxford University’s African-Carribean society in February 2014. Check out our radio interview with Oxford’s Oxide Radio.We look forward to taking the slams to other universities in the future.
3. Poetry Workshops:
In summer 2013 Zena and three other members of Warwick university: Lucy Trenholme, Jonathan Anketell and Nicki Williams ran a series of workshops with about 15 members of Canley’s UFE youth club, a youth club situated about 10 minutes walk out of Warwick university’s campus. The young people, aged between 11 and 16, though at first fairly unreceptive, they eventually wrote poems and worked as a group to produce work together. We have compiled the poems and photos into a 20-page booklet distributed to the young people, the local council and Lord Rootes (our sponsors).
In the 2014-5 academic year, Shoot from the Lip members Zena Agha, Lucy Trenholme, Jon Anketell and Antonia Harris delivered a workshop series in a comprehensive school in Walsall, Birmingham.
We have big ideas for Shoot from the Lip including taking the poetry slams to other universities, launching a website, filming out poetry slams and eventually taking the show up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Watch this space…
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