Rachel Long is the leader of Octavia, Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour. She is Assistant Tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme, 2015-present.
Photo by: Amaal Said
Amaal Said is a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet based in London. Her photographs have been featured in Vogue, The Guardian and The New Yorker. She is concerned with storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. She is a member of the Burn After Reading poetry Collective as well as the Octavia Collective, and she is also a former Barbican Young Poet. She won Wasafiri Magazine’s New Writing Prize for poetry in 2015.
Photo by: Amaal Said
Tania Nwachukwu is a Nigerian-British writer, poet and performer from London. She is a member of the Octavia poetry collective for women of colour and a Barbican Young Poets alumna. She is also the co-founder of Black in the Day, a crowdsourced photo archive documenting the lives and experiences of Black people in the UK.
Photo by: Giselle Ali
Sarah Lasoye is a British-Nigerian poet and writer from London. She is a former Barbican Young Poet (15/16).
Photo by: Graham Lacdao
Belinda Zhawi’s a Zimbabwean born writer, educator. Belinda was a 2015/16 London Laureate (shortlistee for Young People’s Laureate for London) & the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet. She’s co-founder & host of the bi-monthly poetry social, BORN::FREE. She’s currently based in London, working on her debut pamphlet forthcoming in 2018 on ignitionpress.
Raheela means 'happy journey'. She chases levitating stepping stones, tiptoes on horizons and writes poetry, screenplays and makes films and beats. She was born in London, but is open to being buried elsewhere.
Zahrah Sheikh is a British Pakistani poet from Ilford and Barbican Young Poet Alumni.
She writes for connection, with herself and others. Writing for Zahrah is like holding out a hand, lighting the cave in her. She writes because it gives her hope.
Josette Joseph writes. She is a former Barbican Young Poet and member of multi -disciplinary collective Sxwks. Her work has featured in live shows, installations and exhibitions in her native, south London and beyond.
Anjali is a poet and writer from South London. She is a member of both Living Free art collective and womxn of colour poetry collective, Octavia.
She has exhibited visual interpretations of her work in art galleries across London. Her poems have been published in Skin Deep, hotdog and thiiird magazines and commissioned by gal-dem magazine and ASOS.
Hibaq Osman is a Somali writer born and based in London. Her work centres largely around women, identity and the healing process. A Silence You Can Carry, her debut poetry pamphlet, was published with Out-Spoken Press in 2015. Hibaq Osman works towards a future where funding and access to the arts for people of colour is considered the norm and not an exception.
Photo by: Hark1karan
Rhondda Rhiannon is a Bristol born actor, poet and visual artist who is now based in east London. She is a member of Octavia Poetry Collective for womxn of colour. She has exhibited visual poetry alongside the Living Free collective in Shoreditch, been published in the Ripple anthology, performed at Hayward Gallery and featured alongside Octavia in ASOS Magazine
Sunayana Bhargava is a poet and astrophysics PhD student. She is a three-time Barbican Young Poet and current member of Octavia. Her writing has been featured in the Bloodaxe Books anthology ’Hallelujah for 50ft Women’, the BBC World Service and The This Magazine.
Ankita Saxena is a British-Indian poet and playwright. She read English at Oxford, where she was the Head of Events for Oxford University Poetry Society, and the President of the Turl Street Arts Festival. She is a former Barbican Young Poet and three-time commended Foyle Young Poet. Her work often explores the female body, family and cultural identity. Find her @ankitawrites.
Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian Poet, she was shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize, and the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize: She is editor of FourHubs magazine. She co-runs RAP Party with Inua Ellams, an event in celebration of the bridges between poetry and Hip Hop.
Virginia Joseph, also known as 'V5J', is an Afro-Caribbean Londoner, Roehampton alumna and budding filmmaker.
Initially blogging her poetry under a now defunct moniker, Virginia transitioned to recording and editing her poems for SoundCloud. To improve her poetry, she sought out the community offline, which led to watching great poetry and to writing and performing alongside some of the best poets in the UK. She has also performed with The Last Poets and her poetry features on the I Am Hip Hop Magazine website.
Drawing upon adolescent experiences of struggling with her appearance, Virginia released her Ugly Black Gyal EP in March 2018, an honest and at times humorous commentary about pivotal moments in her life; it includes her Hammer & Tongue Hackney Poetry Slam winning poem, 'Uncomfortable (Cry Yourself To Sleep) OR Confiance En Soi'.
Virginia is currently in pre-production for 'DIGS', her first short film as a writer-director.
Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer and filmmaker. An alumna of the Barbican Young Poets, her work has featured in The Poetry Review, Ambit and tonguejournal.org, in addition to being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. She was shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize 2016, and has been an artist-in-residence at the V&A Museum in London and at Instituto Sacatar in Brazil. Her debut pamphlet, Girl B, forms part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets chapbook series. Victoria is the director and producer of MOTHER TONGUES, an intergenerational poetry, film and translation project supported by Arts Council England and Autograph ABP.
Anita is a poet and mother and father of Heaux Noire: a live poetry and music night for and by Black and Brown womxn.
Photo by: Catarina Rodrigues
Amina Jama is a Somali-British writer.
She was the Roundhouse & BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Words First London finalist, alumni of Barbican Young Poets, co-host of BoxedIN at Boxpark, Shoreditch, and Assistant Tutor for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Her work explores displacement, dual cultural identity and family. She has been published in The Things I Would Tell You, a Saqi Books anthology, and Rising Stars children’s anthology by Otter-Barry Books. She has been commissioned by the BBC, The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and the London Mayors Office.
Momtaza Mehri is a poet, essayist and editor. Her work has been featured in DAZED, Buzzfeed, Vogue, the BBC and Snapchat’s Real Life Mag. She is a winner of the 2017 Out-spoken Page Poetry Prize and 3rd prize in the 2017 National Poetry Competition. She is the current Young People’s Laureate for London.