Welcome to Young Identity

Young Identity (YI) at Commonword is a spoken word collective formed in Manchester, 2006 by Shirley May and Ali Gadema. They were brought together when volunteers Shirley and Ali put together a Manchester team for Apples and Snakes’ WORDCUP youth poetry slam held in Warwickshire.

YI has been running creative workshops since in art venues such as Contact Theatre and HOME, in addition to projects in local wards. As well as meeting regularly in these locations to work with eager writers aged 13-25, Young Identity’s original members known as Inna Voice also work alongside YI to manage ‘One Mic Stand (affectionately known as OMS), a popular poetry showcase and slam night which takes place quarterly at Contact Theatre Young Identity is dedicated to giving young people opportunities to perform their written work and have worked with artists such as Lemn Sissay, international spoken word icon Saul Williams, dub poetry legend Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ted Hughes Prize Winner Kate Tempest, and the late Amiri Baraka.

YI have performed all over the UK, from the Southbank in London to the West Yorkshire Playhouse and even in America’s Nuyorican Poetry Café. We are currently funded by a grant from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund and work in partnership with Commonword, Contact, HOME and Manchester Library Services.

Upcoming shows

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Talented collective Young Identity have been forging a reputation as some of the most magical young poets and performers in the city for the past decade. But their work draws on a long established initiative in Manchester to support and develop the work of...

Home Is…ILÉ LA WA

Home Is... explores the concept of home and what happens when your idea of home conflicts with the reality. The same morning the Government unleashes ‘Go Home’ buses on the streets of London, four strangers find themselves detained together following an im...

Workshops this month

Sep
29
Thu
Central Library workshop @ Central Library
Sep 29 @ 18:00 – 19:45

central

Workshop at Central Library every Thursday

Oct
3
Mon
Moston Miners workshop @ Moston Miners Community Cenre
Oct 3 @ 18:00 – 19:45

mostonminers

Moston Miners Community Arts Centre workshop every Monday

Oct
4
Tue
Longsight Library workshop @ Longsight Library
Oct 4 @ 17:45 – 19:45

longsight2

Workshop at Longsight Library every Tuesday

Oct
6
Thu
Central Library workshop @ Central Library
Oct 6 @ 18:00 – 19:45

central

Workshop at Central Library every Thursday

Oct
10
Mon
Moston Miners workshop @ Moston Miners Community Cenre
Oct 10 @ 18:00 – 19:45

mostonminers

Moston Miners Community Arts Centre workshop every Monday

Young Identity would like to thank the kind support of

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