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About us

Wordsmith is a community based organisation delivering performance poetry projects to school, youth providers and arts organisations.

Now in its fifth year, Wordsmith has established relationships with many aspiring Manchester secondary schools and academies and in the process inspired over 1500 students from year 7 to 11, helping young people to develop their passion for writing and performance and explore the possibility of the arts as a career with partner organisations such as Young Identity and Apples and Snakes.


Mission Statement

Wordsmith believes that the arts can be creatively transformative, as well as educational and entertaining. Transformation, embedding self-confidence and encouraging self-expression through artistic endeavour and discipline are at the heart of a Wordsmith project.


What we offer

Wordsmith offers a range of innovative services:

Inter-school poetry projects: incorporating schools across Manchester, culminating with a multi-arts showcase, a profile on our site and publication in a downloadable ethology.

School poetry projects: based on the a showcase/slam model that engages and energizes the whole school.

Poets in residence: available to compose new works on a regular basis based on school life, assist classes and individual students poetry or literature based poetic subject matter.

Latest Wordsmith events December 2014-The results are in and the galleries up!

First up...


WHAT: Wordsmith Poetry Showcase "Mandela & Angelou; life and legacy"




WHERE: Z ARTS 335 Stretford Rd, Manchester M15 5ZA


Showcasing; Loreto, Burnage Academy for Boys, WRHSG, Xaverian

Plus poetry from: Zahid Hussain Zareen - author of Curry Mile, poet

PA performance from Free Wize Men.

Host Keisha Thompson

Invitation only contact your head of year

Supported by Young Identity, Commonword, Coma press, IcanWeb, MUFC in the community



Best Team year 9; Whalley Range High School Girls - Coach Nicole May.

Best performance year 9; Adnan Mohammed - Burnage Academy Boys

Best Line year 9; Ines Da Silva - Loreto: The only way to kill a tree is to pull up its roots


Best Team 6th form; Xaverian 6th form - Coach Reece Irvine Williams.

Best performer 6th form; Hannah Sypula, Amy Porter / special mention Hannah Ghafoor

Best Stanza / Line 6th form; Aisha Khan - WRHSG: A Womans Blood etches every mans name into existence.


...and then

WHAT: Wordsmith Poetry Showcase "Maya Angelou; life and legacy"




WHERE: St Margarets CofE


Showcasing original poetry from Rolls Crescent, Webster, St Philips, St Magarets, St Marys.

Plus Music from Shoa

Stories and poetry from Anjum Malik

Host Shirley May

Supported by Young Identity, Commonword, Coma press, IcanWeb, MUFC in the community



Best Team; St Philips

Best Performer; Sara Nadvi Bryne - St Magarets


Best Line; Oluebube Iheanachor - Rolls Crescent:

Since I was a little girl,
I'll always count on you, for comfort and kind support, that's faithful and true
Dad, it's not easy to find the words to say, how much you really mean to me today.


Best Line; Ogo Awanye - St Philips: When someone embarrasses me I feel like a stone that has fallen into water, the ripples are people's laughter.


More video here!

Wordsmith Awards 2014

Wordsmith poetry showcase "The World At War". Whalley Range High 6th Form coached by Desiree Reynolds (check out more showcase video here)

Wordsmith showcase takes it inspiration from slam poetry.....we choose to adapt this format for schools in order to facilitate growth...empowerment...opportunity...freedom of self-expression....Thursday 3rd April at Stun studio space - Z Arts


Read more...

Wordsmith Primary School Project 2013


Winning team Claremont Primary School

See more videos here

Read more...

Welcome to Wordsmith Awards 2013

This year’s project involved 8 schools engaging in writing and performance wordshops for 8 weeks, which resulted in a memorable showcase at Burnage Media Arts College in July 2013. Our special guests JP Cooper and Flex thrilled over 100 students and staff with musical sets that perfectly punctuated passionate poetry penned and performed by our teams. Loreto High were awarded Best Team and have already begun their year residency with masterclasses from Chicago’s first wave graduate Dominique Chesterland as well as a Q&A with Grammy nominated Def Jam poet Liza Garza before sharing the stage with her at an event at The Instituto Cervantes in central Manchester. Wordsmith poets in residence is a new feature we have added to our programs that allows us to develop young writers with mentoring and quality time with international and national professional poets.

What you say

It has really increased their confidence and team work skills. Students who would not put their hands up to answer a question in class were confident to perform at the Showcase by the end of the project there has been a noticable impact on the attainment of the students involved: three are now above their target grades since completing the project; two have completed a reading age test and this has gone up by two years since completing the project - their vocabulary has greatly improved I have learnt techniques to help students with writing that I will use with other classes We will definitely want to complete the project next year!

J Gledhill Whalley Range High Girls

A fantastic way to develop really important skills such as creativity, communication, resilience and self confidence. A great chance to work with a real poet.

Patsy Kane. Headteacher.

Yes. I definitely feel the Wordsmith Awards achieved these challenging aims. It was amazing to see my Year 9 students in a different light; their creativity astounded me as did their willingness to come out if their comfort zone and perform on stage. For some, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and certainly helped raise aspirations.

Sharon Dempsey Head of English and Assistant Principal St Peter’s RC High School



Coming Up

Tue Dec 09 @17:30 - 07:30PM
Mandela and Angelou; Life & Legacy
Thu Dec 11 @16:15 - 06:00PM
Maya Angelou; life and legacy


Ione-Mai apeared at our 2014 Wordsmith Showcase, more details here 

Zahid Hussain

ZAhid HussainZahid Hussain is a Manchester-based novelist (THE CURRY MILE), former regional poetry performance champion and a screenwriter.  Some of his poetry has been published in anthologies and recently one of his short stories featured in a charity publication entitled SURVIVAL OF THE HARDWORKING.  He is currently working on a Curry Mile prequel series as well as exploring stories for YA readers.  Zahid Hussain wishes he had more to read, but often spends his spare time on social media encouraging greater diversity in literature.

Anjum Malik

Anjum MalikScriptwriter, poet, Homarary Writing Fellow at MMU and education trainer. Anjum has written several radio plays, including Women's Hour Drama serial The Interpreters and an adaptation of Anthony Burgess' unseen play "Napoleon Rising" as part of the 200th Napoloeonic anniversary. Her first film "Escape To Somerset" was broadcast by HTV. She is currently devoloping a TV drama based on her experience as an officer with West Yorkshire Police.

Her first poetry collection "Before The Rains" was published by Huddersfield university. She has also been published by Redbeck Press in "Spirit of Bradford", Crocus Books in "Peace Poems" and Suitcase Press in "Hair" and "The Suitcase Book of Love Poems".Multi-lingial with extensive experience of working with schools, colleges and universities, literature, community and arts organisations; with all ages and has a special interest in working with disadvantaged groups of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.

Free Wize Men

Free Wize Men

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