Welcome to Young Identity

Young Identity (YI) is an arts organisation founded by Shirley May and Ali Gadema in Manchester in 2006. YI delivers dynamic poetry and spoken word workshops for young people in art venues such as Contact and HOME and in local communities across Manchester.

Young Identity has been kindly hosted by the Manchester based charity Commonword (charity no. 1152499) for the first 12 years of its life. In 2018 we decided that it was time for Young Identity to spread its wings and become its own charity and we’re currently in the process of registering with the Charity Commission.

The founding members of Young Identity, now known as Inna Voice, work alongside YI to manage One Mic Stand (affectionately known as OMS), a popular poetry showcase and slam night which takes place quarterly in Manchester. Young Identity is dedicated to giving young people opportunities to perform their written work. We have recently launched a new 2-year program called Hatch, through which we are developing the talents of up-and-coming poets to become professional artists in the industry.

Young Identity has 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. The work of Young Identity has also featured at Manchester International Festival as part of FlexN (a dance style pioneered by New York’s Reggie Roc Gray), a collaboration between local dancers and the poetry collective to explore new ways of storytelling through words and movement. YI have performed all over the UK, from BoxedIn in London to Hay Festival in Herefordshire as well as internationally at Frankfurt Youth Poetry Slam in Germany to America’s Nuyorican Poetry Café.

We work in partnership with Contact, HOME and Manchester Library Services.

Young Identity's voice cuts through the noise. We are unique, different and stand out. We believe in the transformative power of the arts on young people's lives.  Our mission is accessibility for all to the arts, writing and performance.  A dynamic and innovative organisation, we nurture the talent of tomorrow, empowering disadvantaged and under-represented young people to fulfil their artistic potential.  Our life-changing programme supports and develops emerging writers and performers to become the artists and professionals of the future.  We create a safe space and family-like environment,  placing self-expression, artistic excellence and diversity at the heart of everything we do. 

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Why we write-Video

Upcoming shows

  • Nov 12
  • Free

Young Identity, ‘No Disclaimers’ Book Launch at Homemcr

The first in a fresh series of poetry anthologies from Young Identity at HOME. Manchester’s finest professional youth poetry collective, Young Identity, are set to debut the first volume of their new anthology series that focuses on the unapologetic and inn...

Hatch at HOME

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;...

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Workshops this month

Dec
25
Tue
Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse @ Moss Side Millenium Powerhouse
Dec 25 @ 18:00 – 20:00

 

Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse workshop every Tuesday

6pm Beginners workshop

7pm Advanced workshop

Jan
1
Tue
Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse @ Moss Side Millenium Powerhouse
Jan 1 @ 18:00 – 20:00

 

Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse workshop every Tuesday

6pm Beginners workshop

7pm Advanced workshop

Jan
8
Tue
Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse @ Moss Side Millenium Powerhouse
Jan 8 @ 18:00 – 20:00

 

Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse workshop every Tuesday

6pm Beginners workshop

7pm Advanced workshop

Jan
15
Tue
Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse @ Moss Side Millenium Powerhouse
Jan 15 @ 18:00 – 20:00

 

Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse workshop every Tuesday

6pm Beginners workshop

7pm Advanced workshop

Jan
22
Tue
Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse @ Moss Side Millenium Powerhouse
Jan 22 @ 18:00 – 20:00

 

Young Identity Contact at Powerhouse workshop every Tuesday

6pm Beginners workshop

7pm Advanced workshop