These are Speaking Volumes’ current and upcoming projects.

Your Local Arena – Live 2023-24

Your Local Arena is back!

Following on from the online series, co-produced with Lucy Hannah, we are bringing a new live series of panels and poets giving contemporary responses to the archive of BBC Arena films.

Find out more here.

All You Can Do Is Hum

All You Can Do Is Hum is a dynamic spoken word/music performance by Joshua Idehen. Exploring his own experiences of isolation and a sense of not belonging, the show invites audiences to come together to ‘spin grief into joy’ through the power of words and music. Inspired by Nigerian churches, Idehen’s charismatic ‘sermon leader’ will transform strangers into a united ‘congregation’, lifting his audience up through the creative magic of poetry and energetic beats. Find out more here.

SongMaps Rye

A new pilot project based in Rye, Sussex: SongMaps is a series of five workshops bringing artists from poetry, music and the visual arts together with inter-generational participants from Rye to address the issues that are most pressing to coastal communities on the front line of climate change and rising seas.

In partnership with Strongback Productions.

Women Speak Volumes

Women Speak Volumes is a free Inspiration Bank, a first step in helping older women to tell their stories in whatever way they want to through the inspiring stories of those who have, and still are, leading this way – discover these inspiring stories and inspirational women here.

Home is Not a Place Tour

Stunning new photography and poetry collaboration by Roger Robinson and Johny Pitts explores what it is like to be black in Britain, outside urban centres. Speaking Volumes is producing a tour offering audiences the chance to hear Johny and Roger explore these ideas. Find out more here.

Breaking Ground Ireland

Speaking Volumes is proud to have produced Breaking Ground Ireland – a new resource celebrating 80 writers and illustrators from ethnic minority backgrounds – in association with Cúirt International Festival of Literature and National University of Ireland Galway. Learn more here.

Anthony Joseph: The Frequency of Magic

As part of his The Frequency of Magic project, giving the novel a musical backing from some of the UK’s finest musicians, Anthony Joseph recorded the entire book, and it is being released in partnership with Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad, one chapter per day.

Listen to the chapters here

Not Quite Right For Us

To mark our 10th birthday, Speaking Volumes has published an anthology of forty writers whose work challenges the mainstream, responding to the theme ‘Not Quite Right For Us‘, with events and a podcast series – find out more here.

Your Local Arena

Your Local Arena is a collaborative project with producer Lucy Hannah, making use of the extensive archive of films from the legendary BBC Arena series to produce poetic responses, panel discussions and creative writing workshops alongside screenings of the films. Find out more…

City Central

City Central is a collaboration between author/photographer Johny Pitts and poet/musician Joshua Idehen. Using Johny’s 2019 non-fiction book Afropean: Travels in Black Europe, and the work of Josh’s band Benin City, the pair are creating a live performance that fuses poetry and prose, music and photography, film and field recordings. Find out more…

Ber/Lon – A Tale of Two (Gentrifying) Cities

Artists Joshua Idehen and Adelaide Ivánova, Johny Pitts and Joanna Legid as they confront issues of gentrification in the London and Berlin neighbourhoods at the forefront of change, exploring them through multilingual poetry and prose, photography and music. Find out more…

Come On In: Life Journeys

Come on In: Life Journeys, is an invitation to multicultural audiences to discover the lives of others through poetry and music. Six poets and musicians will collaborate, interviewing people who work in a range of workplaces – a train station, a funeral home and an urban community farm – and creating a performance of poem songs about the rich, diverse lives they discover. Find out more…

A Portable Paradise Tour

To celebrate the publication of Roger Robinson‘s latest poetry collection, A Portable Paradise, we have produced a year-long tour of readings and events for Roger to share his important and powerful work with audiences around the UK and overseas.

Breaking New Ground

Breaking New Ground is a project celebrating British writers and illustrators of colour who are creating stories for children and young people, launching at London Book Fair 2019 with a new booklet featuring over 100 contemporary creators. Find out more…