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Sabrina Mahfouz and Inua Ellams explore the escalating popularity of spoken word and how it has become the breeding ground for a whole new generation of writers.

A series about how the dynamic world of spoken word poetry is thriving in communities across the whole of the UK.

In three programmes, Power Lines explores the escalating popularity of spoken word among audiences who have traditionally avoided poetry altogether. Through politics, identity and place, presenters Sabrina Mahfouz and Inua Ellams look at how spoken word has become the breeding ground for a whole new generation of writers who are changing poetry in the UK. They cross the country talking to poets from Manchester, Huddersfield, Bury, Edinburgh, Bristol and Wrexham, on boats, in forests, theatres, parks and pubs, challenging the assertion that spoken word is, as poet Joelle Taylor puts it, "the dumb cousin of 'real' poetry".

Programme One: Politics
Poet and playwright Inua Ellams talks to spoken word poet Zia Ahmed who deals with his frustration with racism by 'speaking it out'. Peter Bearder explains how some protest poets are being drawn into mainstream politics through the Labour Party. And he finds 23 year old Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan whose slam competition winning poem has been viewed by over two million people online.

The poems featured in the programme are:

JJ Bola "I Found Hip Hop"
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan " This Is Not A Humanising Poem"
Zia Ahmed "Home"
Joelle Taylor "Everything You Have Ever Lost" and "The Correct Spelling of My Name"
Pete (the Temp) Bearder "Manifesto for a Revolutionary Poetic"

A Wire Free production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Broadcast