BBC launches search for best new poetry artists with Jude Yawson
BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network and BBC Contains Strong Language have today launched ‘Words First’, a talent development scheme aiming to discover the best emerging poetry talent in the UK.
Jude Yawson, will provide guidance and mentoring for the finalists throughout the scheme and choose 12 poets whose work he will edit in a book of poetry to be co-published by OWN IT! and Wrecking Ball Press.
Jude Yawson comments ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into young minds at a unique point in time. We live in an interconnected world which contains a lot of dialogue on things that impact our lives within the public sphere. Although the future belongs to the youth, we rarely get to understand their future ambitions articulated purely by themselves. In editing this book my hope is to delve into the idea of interconnectivity, through the eyes of young creatives, by empowering them to explore themes of identity connectivity and mobility. I’m so excited about the talent we are going to unearth and about editing a book which will not only offer a platform to a new generation of creatives, but also spark important conversations about the true meaning of connectivity in the modern age’
Working together with poetry organisations across the country, the Words First scheme is looking for people who are passionate about spoken word in any form. From rappers and MCs to poets and lyricists, anyone with an interest in developing their spoken word skills can apply here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4vMSbh4t5xmTgMCg4NJ6ntQ/words-first-are-you-the-next-spoken-word-star
Derek Owusu is a writer, poet and podcaster from North London. Derek discovered his passion for the written word at the age of 23 while studying exercise science at university. Unable to afford a change of degree, Derek began reading voraciously and sneaking into English Literature lectures at the University of Manchester.
In 2016 he linked up with Alex Reads via social media and became part of the multi-award winning literature podcast Mostly Lit. Continuing on this course of podcasting, Derek also produced the well received This Is Spoke podcast for Penguin Random House and Freemantle Media. Derek has written for The Big Issue, The I, Waterstones, The Voice, KnightsOf, Media Diversified and The Book Machine. His essay on Black men and insecurities was the second most read article on Media Diversified in 2018, and his essay on Language was picked up by BBC Newsnight to be turned into a short documentary. He has contributed to What Is Race by Nikesh Shukla and Claire Hutchens, a book for children which explains and explores race and racism, and has had poems published by the Good Journal. Derek has also collated, edited and contributed to SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, a timely anthology exploring the experiences of Black men in Britain, due to be published March 7th by Trapeze Books.
He is currently working on a book of poems based on media and life in London called That Reminds Me.
Co-author and editor of Rise Up: The Story So Far, the Stormzy book which launched the Merky imprint on Penguin Books, has signed to OWN IT! Agency.
As well as an author and editor Jude is also a multifaceted writer of essays, articles, and poetry. Jude’s eclectic writing is curated on his website The House Of Horus where his entire personal writing journey is hosted. He has also contributed an essay entitled “Existing as a Black person living in Britain” to SAFE On Black British Men Reclaiming Space. An anthology edited by Derek Owusu.
Jude’s writing and work is born from a necessity to speak and reflect on life, culture and society and he is particularly passionate about projects which focus on identity, representation, and humanity. Jude graduated in Philosophy and studied an MA in Cultural Studies. He is currently working on his debut novel which is described as: Star Wars meets The Wire.
Jude will be represented by Crystal Mahey-Morgan who commented:
Jude represents the next generation of talented British writers whose creative mind knows no bounds, and whose desire to offer an original bold contribution to the literary landscape is truly exciting. Jude’s forthcoming debut – described as: Star Wars meets The Wire – is a truly unique, genre-bending idea. It simultaneously pays homage to well known authors from a rich historical literary canon whilst re-imagining what the contemporary novel can be. I’m very excited to be working with Jude to develop his debut book and the long career I Know he has ahead of him as an author and writer.
I am very proud to begin this journey with OWN IT! and Crystal Mahey-Morgan as my agent. It’s important to me to be able to work with like-minded individuals who understand me and have a similar vision, and I feel I’ve found that with Crystal and OWN IT!. It also feels great to be part of a collective of creatives whose work excites me. I have huge ambitions for my writing career and feel confident I can realise them with OWN IT! by my side.
OWN IT! Agency represents Jude for Literature, Film and TV. To speak to us about any of these rights please email: Agency@OWNIT.London