Saboteur Awards 2018: Spotlight on the Best Spoken Word Performer Shortlist

You have until 9th May to make your choice. With this in mind, we aim to showcase each category so you can get to know your shortlist better. Next up, the Best Spoken Word Performer Category! Don’t forget to vote here before 9th May!

Amina Bhatti

I’m just a sentient mess trapped in the body of a brown girl; equal parts cynicism, optimism, food cravings and gross fascination at human existence. I’m a full time doctor, part time poet, need more time sleeping and sometimes I read my words to people.

Why voters think she should win:

Her voice is truthful and mesmerising and her message is always thought provoking and authentic.

Because what she deliver it directly reaches to heart…

Shruti Chauhan

Shruti Chauhan is a poet and performer based in Leicester. She has won slams internationally in Chicago and Mumbai, and has performed at Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Rich Mix, the US Embassy’s American Centre in New Delhi, the Green Mill in Chicago, and at poetry festivals and events across the UK. In 2015 she toured Three the Hard Way – Part 2 nationally with Jean Binta Breeze MBE and Lydia Towsey.

Shruti sits on the Board of Writing East Midlands, the region’s writer development agency, is an MGCfutures bursary recipient, a participant on Curve Theatre’s BAME Cultural Leadership programme and one of 200 British BAME writers featured in Speaking Volumes’ Breaking Grounds publication. Shruti is currently developing her debut solo show, The Sky Diaries, at Curve. She has a pamphlet forthcoming with Burning Eye Books.

Why voters think she should win:

Brilliant spoken word artist with complex, diverse, multi-layered work

Extremely engaging and captivating spoken word poet. Brings the British South Asian experience to a mainstream audience

Follow Shruti on her website, Instagram and Facebook page

Susan Evans

I come from the oral traditions of story-telling, though am widely published, too. My debut poetry collection: Shift Happens is coming soon… I mostly write about my relationships with people, places & politics. Facebook recently sent me tips: `If your target audience is mostly women of a certain age, you’ll want to publish posts that will appeal specifically to them.’ So I’ve chosen to share this video, as it features cake, though granted, shame I’m not wearing more pink… Seriously, I am a working-class writer/performer, raised on an East end council estate, of Anglo Indian & Irish parentage. Ben Okri, in his poem: Grenfell Tower:  June  2017, acknowledges: “poverty is its own colour; its own race…” I have worked full-time with the marginalised from a place of being marginalised, for over twenty years. They say where there’s humour there’s hope, which you will find in much of my work.

Why voters think she should win:

So contemporary and relevant and funny, with edge.

Inspires starting out poetry performers. Strong messages relevant, current and delivers with power and humility.

Follow Susan Evans on her Facebook page.

Tyrone Lewis*

Tyrone Lewis the first ever Roundhouse Poet and a Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion. He won the 2017 Axis Winter slam and was a finalist in the UK Farrago Slam Champions in 2017 and 2018 as well as being a finalist in the Hammer and Tongue Slam Championships 2018.

Tyrone has worked across England with poetry in a variety of ways, including performing, teaching and peer mentoring. Based in London, Tyrone is a regular on the scene there and is one of the co-hosts of a monthly Open Mic Night, Boomerang Club.

Tyrone has also been involved with a number of major national poetry events over the years including 2010’s Word Cup, 2012’s Shake The Dust and 2015’s Shot From The Lip, as well as helping out with UniSlam in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Why voters think he should win:

I like his style. His work feels authentic and he is a good performer who gives you a jolt and makes you think.

Tyrone has a beautiful impact and his poetry carves through concrete hubris to create something more new in the heart of the listener

Check out his website here, and follow him on Twitter here.

Miss Yankey

Miss Yankey is a British/Ghanaian Performance Poet; Founder of Poetry Prescribed; Co-host and Resident Poet at The Chocolate Poetry Club; Open Mic Host at Mind Over Matter; and milli-tasking mother of twins.

As a performance Poet Miss Yankey has graced stages at The Royal Albert Hall, The Tate Modern Gallery, Althorp Literary Festival, Leefest, The Lambeth Country Show, and many more. A regular on the open mic at poetry nights including Word On The Street, Well Versed, and Flovortex, she captivates audiences with her honest and heartfelt poetry; often speaking up on behalf of the oppressed and silenced.

Having began writing poetry as a child, Miss Yankey carried her love of writing into adulthood. Upon learning more about the therapeutic benefits of poetry and creative writing, she realised that she had been unknowingly using poetry as a therapy for many, many years. Combining her love of poetry, with her knowledge of holistic therapy, and passion for mental health awareness Esi founded Poetry Prescribed in 2017, with the primary aim of improving people’s mental health and well being using poetry and creative writing.

Why voters think she should win:

Nobody got bars and flows like Yankey

Powerful female performer raising awareness of mental health abuse and what it is to be a woman of colour

Check out her Instagram and Facebook page!