But We Are Still Here, Octavia @ Tate Modern




Heather Agyepong Yaa 2017 (detail)


A performance of new works commissioned in response to the Tate Modern collection and But we are Still Here

Join Octavia Poetry Collective as they perform new works created as personal responses to the Tate collection, through the themes of But we are Still Here.

Rachel Long, Sarah Lasoye (performing work by Victoria Adukwei Bulley) and Amaal Said will perform these works in response to Rhythm 0 by Marina Abramovich, Monument 1980–1 by Susan Hiller and Pavilion Suspended in a Room I by Cristina Iglesias.

Octavia is a poetry collective for women of colour led by Rachel Long and housed at Southbank Centre.

Susan Hiller, ‘Monument’ 1980–1
Susan Hiller
Monument 1980–1
© Susan Hiller
Cristina Iglesias, ‘Pavilion Suspended in a Room I’ 2005

Cristina Iglesias
Pavilion Suspended in a Room I 2005
© Cristina Iglesias


Performances take place in the Blavatnik Building near the artworks which inspired them on display in Level 0: VoicesLevel 2: Between Object and Architecture and Level 3: Performer and Participant

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


25 November 2017 at 16.00–17.00

Drop-in, no booking necessary











New series of Telling Her Story @Southbank Centre

‘Get in touch with your creativity in poet Rachel Long’s exclusive space for women of colour. Following a sell-out workshop series in 2016, Rachel has curated a new series centred on reading, writing and poetry.’

A second series of Telling Her Story – poetry workshops for women of colour at Southbank Centre are available to book NOW: tinyurl.com/zqnwkww

Tania 3.jpg

Octavia Poetry at Serpentine Galleries

Ideas Through Art: Poetry from the Personal

Octavia Poetry Collective will lead a workshop for educators exploring poetry as a method to understand and develop personal identities.

‘Leading out of current discourse around migration, movement and identity, the workshop will create a space to explore how we individually and collectively see and understand the world.
Using creative writing, group reading, and critical discussion, we will explore the potential of poetry to address diverse personal histories. We will propose a selection of beyond-the-curriculum poets in order to re-think conventional understandings of poetry and build strategies for identifying ourselves in literature. The session includes time and support to map out ways of applying the ideas to your classroom.’

The workshop is FREE, booking is essential via Eventbrite, for more information:


Octavia Poetry return to Southbank Centre

Josette and Hibaq

The incredible Octavia Poetry Collective will be performing Southbank Centre as part of Strive Festival 2016 on Saturday 6th August, 8-9pm.
Strive is a fantastic festival for and curated by young creatives.
Tickets are just £5, and there are 50% off concessions too. A bargain really for the show we have in store.


Confusion of Tongues, Art and the Limits of Language, Courtauld Commission

Confusion of Tongues: Art and the Limits of Language
MA Programme Curating the Art Museum, 16 June – 17 July 2016

It was an absolute pleasure to be commissioned by The Courtauld Gallery‘s MA Curating students to write poems in response to some of the works within their fantastic exhibition, Confusion of Tongues: Art and the Limits of Language last weekend.

The exhibition is still on for another week, so if you have a chance I’d highly recommend going.

The Rich Mix Anniversary Comrade

Rich Mix Com

The Rich Mix Anniversary Camarade
May Monday 2nd : 6pm : Free entry

May 2nd : 6pm : Free Entry http://richmix.org.uk/events/spoken-word/rich-mix-anniversary-camarade at Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

To celebrate the ten year anniversary of Rich Mix a special celebratory Camarade event will bring together some of the best known pairs from the series, all of whom had their debut at Rich Mix, alongside some brand new commissioned pairs of young and established poets, invited especially for the night. Featuring:

Sandeep Parmar & James Byrne
Carol Watts & George Szirtes
Mark Waldron & Rebecca Perry
Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams
Giovanna Coppola & Clover Peake
Mischa Foster Poole & Chrissy Williams
Julia Lewis & Harry Man
Tasimbaradzwa Kanyangarara & Susie Campbell
Rachel Long & Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Farhana Khatun & Francine Elena
Kathryn Maris & Amy Key
SJ Fowler & more…

Octavia’s Ten Minute Takeover of the Arts Emergency Podcast

The brand new Arts Emergency Podcast has arrived! Check it out on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/…/the-arts-emergency…/id1044115346…) and Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/arts-emergency/ep13). This month, we’re talking vulnerability, gratitude and life-defining moments. With stories from playwright and producer Deborah Pearson and Ninjatune signing Throwing Shade. Octavia Poetry takeover the podcast for a whole ten minutes to share some of their work and discuss why their workshop is so valuable. Octavia’s founder and this month’s Poet In Residence Rachel Long delivers an incredible poem exploring mental health. And Arts Emergency student Edie Friar presents the music that means the most to her in this episode’s Student Soundtrack.

Arts Emergency

Octavia Celebrating WOW at The Poetry Library


Josette and Hibaq

See the canon differently at an event celebrating unsung women poets and up-and-coming stars.

Octavia is a poetry group of women of colour, led by Rachel Long. The group explores issues of intersectionality, sexuality, and the representation of women of colour.

The group explores issues of intersectionality, sexuality, and the representation of women of colour.

The women have also been working with Poetry Library librarians to discover some of the hidden heroines of poetry. They highlight the significance of their voices both on stage and in a resource at the event.

Free but booking essential. Emailspecialedition@poetrylibrary.org.uk to reserve your place.

This event is supported by Apples and Snakes.