Arts & Culture
Performance poet Adisa at the Towngate.
Getting verbal with your verbs
Adisa is a performance poet and he's known as 'The Verbalizer'. Originally from Poplar in East London he's been impressing audiences of school pupils in Basildon recently.
Adisa is in Basildon at the Towngate theatre to perform to around a hundred school children from the Furtherwick Park School on Canvey Island and the St Anne Line Catholic Junior School in Basildon.
All seem to be having a fun time and love joining in with the one-man show, shouting out answers when encouraged to do so.
"I go into a lot of schools and when the teacher introduces you, I see their faces drop! 'This is going to be really boring' and their expectations of poetry are very different to what I believe it can be," said Adisa.
The performance aims to get young people thinking about words and enjoying poetry: "Hence why I give myself all these different names, such as 'The Verbalizer' and other funky names.
"There was a group of boys here at the performance that haven't been concentrating on their writing and that's why I try to use energy and action to get up and do stuff. But still using words, it's a great way into poetry.
"My vision is to work on a kind of motivational programme for children and empower people to achieve their goals."
Adisa started writing poetry in 1994 when he was 25-years-old: "It started as just a hobby, writing in my bedroom and my family suggested I go and perform in public places.
"I took part in a competition and was lucky enough to win."
One of the judges was Benjamin Zephaniah who he praised the up-and-coming poet. Since then he's started working with a band and setting some of his poems to music.
"As a teenager I used to rap to reggae music and I was always interested in words, but it wasn't about politics like it is now," he said.
For most of the students, poetry is something they have to study and Adisa believes it should be performed live: "People like Shakespeare believed their work should be performed live, it's an oral thing. I'm a great believer in taking poetry outside it's normal boundaries."
The performance at the Towngate is part of the Children's Discovery Centre's 'Children Discovering Books Tour' and forms part of the Basildon Children’s Book Festival.
"I write to empower myself and if someone can relate to that too, then great. Taking time out of our busy lifestyles to write is a very important thing."
Adisa says: "Poetry can be very spiritual."
last updated: 27/03/2009 at 08:35
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