Apples and Snakes turns 30

A selection of local poets, headed by Rowan McCabe, will be Intercutting live literature to create cinepoems – an emerging artform that uses visuals to enhance, subvert or illustrate the spoken word. The films have been made as part of Apples and Snakes’ regional project Read Our Lips, giving video camera to poets with the help of Writers’ Block NE.

This follows a challenge from Apples and Snakes and Writers’ Block NE to create a film poem in a day for the chance to win £100, from storyboarding through to the final edit with nothing but a participants own poem, a camera, and a laptop. Film-poems merges spoken word and video-art, a distinct and ever-evolving art form where poets can enhance or narrate their verbal imagery with visuals.

Poet and Writer Rowan is a regular collaborater with Apples and Snakes and also contributes to Alliterati Magazine, Turps, Pink Lane Poetry and Performance and Trashed Organ.

During their three decades on the scene, Apples and Snakes have developed exciting new approaches to how and where spoken word is created and performed, and continued to re-imagine what poetry is and can be.

Apples and Snakes was first set up in 1982 by a group of poets in order to establish more performance poetry events. Over the past 30 years they have been the development ground for many high profile poets and spoken word artists including John Agard, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Malika Booker, Billy Bragg, Charlie Dark, Inua Elams, Phill Jupitus, Lemn Sissay and Kate Tempest, amongst many, many others.

Now thirty, with a national staff of 14, Apples and Snakes continues to stretch the boundaries of poetry in education and performance, by inspiring participation and giving voice to a diverse range of spoken word artists.

In the last financial year alone, Apples and Snakes reached a total audience of 120,869, with 726 spoken word artists participating in their training and development programmes and 20,457 children and young people benefiting from their education activities. A further 12,859 young people were recently involved in their national youth slam Shake the Dust, which took place across the country with a final weekend at the Southbank Centre as part of the London 2012 Festival.

• Apples and Snakes present Read Out Lips at ARC on Wed 20 Feb at 7pm. Tickets are priced F: £5 C: £4 and can be purchased here.