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.
Hatch HOME Jan 15th and 19th
In an increasingly hostile world, Hatch Home looks to connect to humanity using poetry and theatre.
Poets from Young Identity will reflect on the comic, the tragic and everything in between – visual arts, psychology, the news, science, sex and alienation;
this show is a microcosm of the human experience. Encapsulating the spirit and essence of Manchester, with metaphor and rhythmic performance, Hatch Home brings the city’s finest and most fierce poets to centre stage.
Young identity have gained national acclaim for their pioneering work with young wordsmiths, with their journey seeing them work with the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson, the late Amiri Bakara, international spoken word star Saul Williams and Mercury-nominated Kate Tempest.
Why we write-Video
Galleries (click here for more)
Workshops this month
Workshop at Central Library every Thursday