Ocean Studios Forum

What's On 2018

Poetry Pioneers: 35 Years

Poetry Pioneers: 35 Years
17th April 2018 - 29th April 2018
Ocean Studios

Ocean Studios is delighted to be one of the five venues, which Poetry Pioneers: 35 Years will be touring to this Spring. A retrospective of Spoken Word, the exhibition charts the history of UK spoken word over four decades and opens up the Apples and Snakes archive in its birthday year. Featuring guest curators including John Hegley, Benjamin Zephaniah, Inua Ellams, Roger McGough, Hollie McNish and Cerys Matthews who select exhibits with personal resonance, and pick artists that have influenced their work. Poetry Pioneers showcases memorable performances to inspire the poetry of the future.


I think it’s the duty of everyone to be a political activist, but poets and musicians have a special role to play in mankind’s conversations.”
– Benjamin Zephaniah, 2017 on Artists for Palestine and Apples and Snakes 1990.


In an exhibition that tours to Apples and Snakes’ five regions across the country, the exhibition offers a chance to relive moments in four decades of the artform, through promotional material, audio and video performances, and interviews that characterise political and personal moments between 1982 and 2013. Poetry Pioneers: 35 Years is the touring part of the Spoken Word Archive project, a major project to create an archive of Spoken Word performance and part of Apples and Snakes’ 35th year celebrations. As the leading organisation for performance poetry in the country Apples and Snakes has a national reputation for producing exciting, engaging and transformative work in performance and participation. Keep updated with the Ocean Studios' website for more information on workshops and outreach activities as released.

Lisa Mead, Artistic Director and joint CEO of Apples and Snakes says: “We’re excited to have the opportunity to open up the Apples and Snakes archive and share some of the memories that illustrate the important social and political moments as well as the amazing range of artists that we have supported over the years. We’re delighted that Heritage Lottery Funding has enabled us not only to create this amazing online resource, but also to tour this exciting exhibition to our regional hubs across the country.”