Verse Matters #SheFest March 2017

After an amazing Verse Matters in February (where we had about 100 people in the audience) and another brilliant Hive-Verse Matters young people’s open mic, we are back next Thursday 9 March @ The Moor Theatre Deli for a special event for International Women’s Day 2017.

There will be powerful featured performances from Anna Percy (Stirred, Manchester), Carole Eades (Gorilla, Sheffield), Louise Clines (Broomhill Writers, Sheffield), Chella Quint (Sheffield) and Emily Johnson (musician).

There will also be ace open mic performances from Aiyanna Lund, Raluca Deso, Louise Delamere, Lily Karena & Aaron Thierry.

The event is a collaboration with SheFest: a Sheffield-wide Fringe Festival held during March to celebrate International Women’s Day.

We will be collecting food/ sanitary products for the S2 Food Bank as always. Pay what you can. We look forward to welcoming you to Verse Matters!




Thurs 9 Feb @ Moor Theatre Deli

Verse Matters is back on Thursday 9 February @ The Moor Theatre Deli!

Come and join us for powerful poetry from Malaika Kegode (Poet, Bristol), energising words from Kirsty Taylor (Bradford, A Firm of Poets) and brilliant music from Rhiannon Scutt (musician, Sheffield).

There will also be fab open mic performances from Jo Irwin (poet), Salomée Béranger (poet), Jo Irwin (poet), Salomée Béranger (poet), Vertaa Lune, Star Talboy (poet/songwriter), Esme Brown, L Worthy (poet) and Nik Perry (fiction) .

Please bring along donations of food/ sanitary products for the S2 Food Bank as always.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Feminist Arts Collective!

Verse Matters is relaunching as a feminist arts collective – run by Rachel Bower, Kiran MB, Salomée Béranger, Jo Irwin and Sez Thomasin.

Our events will continue in the same way – sharing poems, stories and music in a supportive space, but the collective will make the events stronger and more sustainable and enable us to develop Verse Matters in lots of exciting ways. I’m excited to be working with such a talented and inspiring bunch of people!

More updates to follow soon. In the meantime, don’t forget the next Verse Matters event on Thursday 9 February at the wonderful Moor Theatre Deli. Find out more on the Facebook event page.

Keep going….

This morning many people are reeling from the victory of Trump in the US election. It is time to grieve, but not time to abandon the fight against injustice, xenophobia racism, misogyny and sexual violence. Over the last 18 months we have grown a powerful community here in Sheffield in which people have felt safe enough to come to events to share their experiences of sexual abuse, violence, incarceration, racism and mental health issues as well as sharing love, empathy, righteous anger, laughter and silliness. The grim election results over the last three years in Britain, India and the US are truly an insult to the courage of these people.

Anyone who has been along to Verse Matters events knows that the event is about much more than beautiful art and nice photos. We are stronger together and Verse Matters exists to bear witness to continuing inequality and injustice and to resist this locally, nationally and internationally, as well as to support those most affected by the difficult times in which we are living. There is no gender equality without racial equality, there is no racial equality without economic equality. We are in it together. This is an invitation to join communities that further these aims and continue to build resistance, locally and across borders.

Last Verse Matters in 2016!

Thanks to everyone who performed and supported for a great Verse Matters At The Moor Theatre Deli on 3 November.

SJ Bradley (Fictions of Every Kind) read a brilliant short story and an extract from her new novel, Loma Sylvana (Poet) treated us to her wonderful flowing poems and Salt Pinchers (Musicians) played a beautiful set. There were also great open mic performances from  Kate Garrett (poet), Umor Haque (poet), Dave Attrill (poet), Ros Arksey (Poet), Gav Roberts (poet), Notuo (poet), Warda Yassin (poet) and Lee Moore (v. short stories).

We’ll be back in the New Year to share more fantastic performances in a supportive space. Come and join us! And get in touch if you’d like to read, perform or share anything. All are welcome.

Verse Matters – November 2016!

After a wonderful Hive Verse Matters Young People’s Open Mic last week, Verse Matters is back on Thursday 3 November at The Moor Theatre Deli for the last event in 2016! Come down for fab poetry from Loma Sylvana, wonderful stories from SJ Bradley (Fictions Of Every Kind) and great music from Salt Pinchers (incl. Stella Sminkos)

There will also be brilliant open mic performances from Kate Garrett-Nield(poet), DrayZera/Umor Haque (poet), Dave Attrill (poet), Ros Arksey (Poet), Gav RobertsLee Moore (short stories), Notuo (poet) and Warda Yassin(poet),

We’ll be collecting food/ sanitary products for the S2 Food Bank as always. Come and join us!

Pay what you can (suggested donation £3)/ 7.30-10pm

Calling all young people (14-25)!


Verse Matters is teaming up with Hive South Yorkshire to run a young people’s open mic on Thursday 27 October at the Moor Theatre Deli in Sheffield!

If you write poems, tell stories, compose lyrics, spit bars, or have anything else to say out loud to a supportive audience, this is an evening to celebrate your words, ideas and talents in a warm atmosphere.

Events are open to all, both new and experienced. As always with Verse Matters we aim to create a supportive space for all performers. We have a limited number of slots on the night for first timers or go-on-then people who prefer not to think about it beforehand!

Where: Thurs 27 Oct | 7.30pm – 10pm

Where: Theatre Delicatessen, the Moor, Sheffield, S1 4PF


We will be collecting food for the S2 Food Bank as always at Verse Matters (tinned and dried food)

There will also be featured performances from Will Banks and Anna May Fox:

Will Banks

Will Banks came to Rotherham Young Writers when he was 16 with a solo interest in journalism. It wasn’t long before he realised he really liked poetry (often with a bit of comedy) and was writing reams of the stuff. His new found interest in wordery took him to a degree in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University where he got stuck into slams and poetry open mics aplenty. Will is currently studying a PGCE in Primary Education and plans to take his love of creative writing into the classroom to inspire the next generation.

Ann May Fox

A recent graduate from UEA’s Creative Writing Course and a proud alumnus of Sheffield Young Writers (SYW), Anna May Fox is beautiful, hilarious and talented… and also writes all her own introductions. When she grows up, she would like to become a proper writer. Over the years at SYW, Anna May went from mouse-shy to rather loud and we like to think the group influenced her decision to keep scribbling. Anna was named one of the top ‘25 Vloggers Under 25 Who Are Owning The World Of YouTube’ by Huffington Post in 2014 and you can check out her awesome channel here:

We look forward to welcoming you to the Hive Young Writers’ Verse Matters!

A partnership between Hive South Yorkshire, Verse Matters & Off the Shelf Festival of Words

For more info see: