Past events

What Verse Matters has done in Sheffield, and in fact the north, over the last few years, is quite exceptional. It is proof we can readdress the balance. It is activism and art together in the best possible way.” Vicky Morris, Hive South Yorkshire

Thursday 11th October 2018,  Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ
Hive/Verse Matters Off the Shelf special featuring Warda Yassin and Sophie Shepherd.
Image may contain: 1 person, text and close-up

Thursday 1st November 2018,  Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ
Featured sets from Zee Younus and Liz Ikamba

Thursday 6th September 2018,  Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ
Featured sets from: Evie Wilson, Kit Rayne, Bryony Doran and music from Sinead Campbell.

Thursday 5th July 2018,  Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ
Featured sets from: Jenni Pascoe, Henry Raby, Ramona Herdman and Birdspeed
Open Mics from Beth Pearson, Alice Johns, Lauren Hart, Laura and Kate Garrett.

Sunday 3rd June 2018,  Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ
Rehearse the Verse –
Another great, supportive performance workshop

vm rtv june 2018

SheFest 2018: Wednesday 7th March 2018, 7.30pm-10pm, Theatre Delicatessen202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ – In collaboration with SheFest Sheffield for International Women’s Day.

What a festival it’s been! Thank you SheFest for allowing us to be part of it once again! Thank you to all the performers for sharing your truth with us. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for the love.

Always blown away by our amazing loving caring community. What a space we created. We would be nothing without you.

We heard featured sets from Fran Lock (London), Sarah Dixon (Huddersfield), Dan Webber (East Midlands), and Khadijah Ibrahiim (Leeds).

Camille McCawleyCarly MountainEvie Wilson, Zara Ade, Meg McGrath also joined us for open mic slots.

Love, light, and solidarity.

See you on the 3rd May for more love!

Meanwhile – our workshop Rehearse the Verse is back on Sunday 8th April. More info real soon, watch this space.

Rehearse The Verse 4th February 2018 at Theatre Deli Sheffield.

Well that was something special! Thank you to all who joined us for the first ever Rehearse the Verse on 4th February 2018 at Theatre Deli Sheffield. Our aim is to create a super supportive spoken word community in an effort to challenge the inequalities we see around us. We can’t do that alone. When you show up and and help create the world we want to see, you make us believe another world is possible. You make us proud of the work we do. Thanks too to Kirsten Luckins from Apples and Snakes for coming and helping us start with a bang.

Rehearse the Verse is a performance workshop; we did a few warm-ups and exercises; talked about honing the craft and then dedicated space to hearing one piece from each attendee and giving feedback to support their development. There’s so much to be gained from hearing others and giving and receiving feedback.

We’ll be back with another Rehearse the Verse on 8th April. In the meantime we hope to see you at our event on 7th March in collaboration with SheFest💛💚💙💜

Thursday 11th January 2018, Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1

Anna May Fox (Spoken Word Artist, Norwich), ADENICO (musician, Huddersfield), Sarah Crutwell (Spoken Word Artist, Stockton-on-Tees) and Chrystine Moon (Perfomer, musician, Sheffield) helped bring 2018 in with a bang.

We also heard powerful words from: Tashinga MateweAndy Pycroft, Germayne Williams-Sylvester, Georgie Woodhead, Ali Hosin and Zara Ade

Thursday 14th December 2017, 7.30pm, The Holt, 156 Arundel St, S1 4RE (map)

VM founder Rachel Bower and poetry legend Helen Mort have been putting together the anthology for months and it was wonderful to celebrate all their hard work and hear so many of the poems performed. From the tune you hum when you’re missing someone, to the love you receive while fighting cancer, to the rage and grief we all need to feel when we remember the victims of Grenfell, to the bittersweetness of finding something that you know someone you’ve lost would have loved…

The anthology showcases the variety and richness of voices that often go unheard in mainstream poetry.

The Verse Matters anthology has been published by Valley Press, and all royalties will go to support ASSIST and The Archer Project, who support homeless people in Sheffield.
You can buy the anthology from Valley Press by going to their website .

Thursday 2nd November 2017, 7.30pm, Theatre Delicatessen, 202 Eyre Street, S1 4QZ (map)
We enjoyed fabulous featured performances from Cora Greenhill (The People’s Priestess, poet, Sheffield) Tim Holmes (poet, Sheffield) Ros Ayres (poet and food blogger) and rap from Chanda Kay (rapper and producer from Huddersfield).

We also heard from
Sara Moon, Jayne Lockwood, Leyla Amall, Harshad Gupta, Gisela Martinez
and Hive Young Writers:  Amy King and Rebecca Watson.


Thursday 7th September 2017, 7.30pm, The Holt, 156 Arundel St, S1 4RE (map)

Featured performances from Ralph Dartford & The Bleeding Obvious (A Firm of Poets), Sez Thomasin (poet, Sheffield), Rose Condo (poet) and Otis Mensah (hip hop artist).

We also heard from
Shahida Siddique, Annalisa (Melanin Fest), Jane (Mum On The Nether Edge),
and Eloise Unerman, Salma Lynch & Zoe Cox from Hive Young Writers

Thursday 22 June 2017: Migration Matters Festival

Mimi Mesfin (poet, Ethiopia), Ruby Robinson (poet), Arash Sabet – (musician, Arts on the Run, Iran)

Plus open mic performances from: Ana Maria Sánchez-Arce, Cora Greenhill, Tchiyiwe Chihana, Lou Parra, Iram Ahmed, Danae Wellington and Zoe Cox


Saturday 27 May 2017: South Yorkshire Poetry Festival

Kate Fox Fox (poet), Salena Godden (poet), Mina Salama (Musician, Arts On The Run), and COR/PO Performance including Angelina Abel (Arts on the Run).

Open mic performances from: Spleeny Dotson, Marilla Holmes, Dom Heslop, Hoe Zin, Zara Adeyemi and Safia Khan

Thursday 9 March 2017: SheFest/International Women’s Day Special

Anna Percy (poet, Stirred, Manchester), Carol Eades (poet, Gorilla Poetry, Sheffield), Louise Clines (poet, Broomhill Writers, Sheffield), Chella Quint (performer, Sheffield) and Emily Johnson (musician).

Plus open mic performances from: Aiyanna Lund (poet), Raluca Deso (poet), Louise Delamere (poet), Lily Karenza (poet) & Aaron Thierry (poet).

Thursday 9 February 2017

Featured artists: Malaika Kegode (Poet, Bristol), Kirsty Taylor (A Firm of Poets), Rhiannon Scutt (musician, Sheffield).

Open mic performances from: Jo Irwin (poet), Salomée Béranger (poet), Vertaa Lune (poet), Esme Brown (poet), L Worthy (poet), Dom Heslop (poet).

Thursday 3 November 2016

SJ Bradley (Fictions of Every Kind), Loma Sylvana (Poet) and Salt Pinchers, incl. Stella Sminkos (musicians)

Open mic: Kate Garrett (poet), Umor Haque (poet), Dave Attrill (poet), Ros Arksey (poet), Gav Roberts (poet), Notuo (poet), Warda Yassin (poet), Lee Moore (v. short stories).

Thursday 27 October – Hive Verse Matters Young People’s Open Mic

First partnership event with Hive South Yorkshire, including featured sets from Anna May Fox and Will Banks

Thursday 6 October 2016: We Shall Overcome & National Poetry Day

Suzannah Evans (Poet), Norah Hamill (Poet) Ray Garner (Poet), Kev Titterton (poet) and Speed for Lovers (Musicians)

Open Mic: Anomali Meraki (poet), Sez Thomasin (poet), Joe O’Brien (poet), Cherry Barham (poet)

Thursday 1 September 2016

Nicole May (Poet, Young Identity/ AndWhatTV), Ross Walcott (Poet/MC), Char March (Poet) and Nicky Bray (musician)

Open mic performances from Nick Allen (rapper/poet), Johnny Albrow (poet), Rex Davies (poet), Alex Carr-Malcolm (poet), Richard C Bower (poet) and Leanne Moden (poet).

Thursday 23 June 2016: Yorkshire Festival/ Refugee Week

Becky, Aoife & Khalidah (Leeds Young Authors), Rae Burgess (Poet), Chijioke Ojukwu (Poet), Bashar Farahat (Poet, Syria), Mina Salama (Musician, Egypt), Angelina Abel (Dancer, Angola) & Sara Oliviero (Violin)

Open mic performances from Pammie Grant (poet), Mimi (poet) – trans by Kate Marks (Conversation Club, ASSIST), ‘Grapes in My Father’s Yard’ by poets from Material Stories of Migration (University of Sheffield).

Photo Credit: Joseph

Thursday 7 April 2016

Featured artists: Rosie Garland (Performance Poet), Sarah Sharp (Musician) and Robert De Born (Poet/ Musician)

Open mic performances include: Nicole May (Poet, Young Identity/ AndWhatTV), Steve Kay (Sheffield Authors), Susie Halksworth (Poet), Sez Thomasin (Poet), Vicky Morris (Poet), Anne Garage (short stories).


Photo Credits: Salomée Béranger

Thursday 3 March 2016: International Women’s Day special

Featured artists: River Wolton (Poet), Amy Kinsman (Poet) and Fiona Helsing (Musician)

Open mic performances include: Ayun Abdi (Poet), Suzannah Evans (Bank St Arts, Poet), Marina Poppa (Firm of Poets), Katherine Henderson (Poet), Laura Church and Janine Smedley (Poet).

Photo Credits: Salomée Béranger

Thursday 4 February 2016

Featured artists: Hannah Chutzpah (Poet), Sai Murray (Tangled Roots Poet/ Liquorice Fish) and Arian Sadr (Musician)

Open mic performances include: Kristina Diprose (Poet), Chris Rodgers (Sheffield Writer/short stories), Mick Nott (Lyrics),  Michelle Beck (Poet), Will Banks (Poet) and Liz Ferrets (Poet)

Photo Credits: Studio Balko

Thursday 7 January 2016

Featured artists: Gav Roberts (Paper Boat Poets/ ROMP), Chella Quint (Comedy/ Poetry) and Avital Raz (Singer/Songwriter/ Musician)

Open mic performances include Ingrid Hanson (Poet), Harry Man (Poet), Abigail Ward (Poet), Dave Attrill (Poet), Chris Rust (Musician), Johnny Albrow (Rapper/ Poet) and Norah Hamill (poet).

Thurs 12 November 2015

Featured artists: Poet Kate Garrett, Poet Gina Elbow and Sufi Soul singer Sarah Yaseen (Rafiki Jazz)

Open mic performances include: Louise Clines (poet), Liz Searle (Poet), Keira James (Poet/Singer), Kev Titterton (Poet), Jude Calvert-Toulmin (Poet), , Fran Critchlow (Poet).



Thurs 15 October 2015

Featured artists: Poet/Writer of Dramatic Monologues Shelley Roche-Jacques, Poet Sarah Thomasin, Musician Gemma Gray  and Saxophonist Hervé Perez.

Open mic performances included: Amy Kinsman (Poet), Katie Wood (Fiction/ Poetry), Kworyl (Acoustic/ Poetry), Janet Murray (Poet) and Rachel Garner (Poet/ Singer).


Thurs 10 September 2015

Verse Matters was back in September with a fantastic line-up of talented artists. Everyone loved the featured artists: from Toria Garbutt’s high-energy poems to Genevieve Carver’s wit and Lou Richards’ haunting melodies.

Toria Garbutt VM 0915 Genevieve Carver VM 0915 Lou Richards VM 2015

We were also very proud to host several poets who had never read their work in public before. Ross Walcott performed two powerful poems, Luke Worthy gave a moving reading of his work and Alice Pickersgill read her rousing poems to great applause.

Ross Walcott VM 0915 Luke Worthy VM 0915 Alice Pickersgill VM 0915

You can catch a bit of Ross’s performance here:

Rachel gave a reading of her new poem “Persephone”

Rachel Bower VM 0915 and there were some fantastic open mics, including Katherine Henderson (poet), Sarah Sharp (musician), Cherry Barham (Meerly Words) and Clare Ibberson-John (Poet). Come back again next month for another fantastic night of poetry, music and solidarity!

Clare Ibberson John Sarah Sharp VM 0915

Cherry Barham 0915 Katherine Henderson VM 0915

Thurs 13 August 2015

VM line up

Featured artists: Charlotte Ansell (Paper Boat Poets), Poet/Singer Anamoli Meraki and Musician Arash Shafei Sabet (Arts on the Run)

Open mic performances from: Danielle Matthews (Poet), Laura Ronan-Toulson (Poet), Sarah Thomasin (Poet), Abigail Ward (Poet) Rae Burgess (Poet), Anna May Fox (Poet), Phoenix McAndrew (Poet/ singer)

Arash Shafei Sabet VM 0815   Anamoli Meraki 3 VM 0815 Anna May Fox VM 0815 Rachel VM 0815

Charlotte Ansell VM 0815  Danielle Matthews VM 0815 Linda Duckenfield 2 VM 0815  Sarah Thomasin VM 0815

Photo Credits: Dave Titterton, Sheffield

Thursday 9 July 2015: Launch of Verse Matters

VM July line up photo 1

Featured artists: Sheffield-based poet Helen Mort and Performance Poet Marina Poppa (A Firm of Poets) and Egyptian Musician Mina Salama (Arts on the Run)

Open mic performances include: Danielle Jeanee Richards (Up Scribe) Carol Eades (Poet and Gorilla Events), Kate Garrett (Poet and Editor), Kev Titterton (Poet), Liz Ferrets (Poet), Rachel Garner (Poet)

VM July photo 3 Helen Mort  VM July Photo 10 Kev Titterton VM July Photo 9 Rachel Garner VM July Photo 8 Liz Ferrets VM July Photo 7 Mina and Moein VM July Photo 6 Kate Garrett VM July Photo 5 Carol Eades VM July Photo 4 Danielle Jeanee Richards VM July photo 3 Helen Mort VM July Photo 2 Rachel

Photo Credits: Dave Titterton, Sheffield

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