Shirley May is an acclaimed poet, writer and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of literature. She is also CEO and Artistic Director of Young Identity, Manchester's premier spoken word collective in the UK. In 2006, Shirley founded the Inner Voice, a voluntary Youth Arts Project that 16 dedicated years later, has become Young Identity, a literature and performance arts charity. Young Identity now has the prestigious status of being a national portfolio organisation with the UK Arts Council. In other words, Young Identity is recognized as a leader both in their field and in our collective national arts. Shirley's work is described as "blazing with emotion, challenging all the senses." We talk about her work responding to pain and pride in the experience of migration, her Jamaican heritage and in African history. We start with how one day "she woke up with a poem in her mouth," how "the word was first" and developing the "risk of excellence," in marginalised youth today. Young Identity is important legacy work that talks to truth.
Series Audio Editor - Courtesy of Joey Quan.
Series Music - Courtesy of Barry J. Gibb
Closed Captions are added to all interviews in this series. Read only, text versions of every interview can also be found here: https://www.canartsaveus.com