50. Become a Bristolian wordsmith

Free to do
Can do in my area
No planning needed
All year round
Great for little'uns with parents (under 6)

or refine by category!

Perform with words in Bristol using poetry or rap.

Do it ourselves
A boy speaking into a microphone

Why do it?

Being able to work with words means being able to share your ideas, make sense of the world and convince others to see the world differently.

Rap and poetry – when they are good – say more about life and its possibilities than any other art form.

How to do this in Bristol

Today, there is a lively underground poetry scene with vast numbers of open mic nights recitals and events. These offer a platform to up and coming poets of all talents and skills.

Bristol has also been a centre for hip hop in the UK since the 80’s and continues to create and host hip hop excellence with artists such as Buggsy, Split Prophets and Jman etc.

You don’t necessarily need a venue to perform. Bristol was once home to the famous homeless poet ‘the bear’ who frequented the streets of Bristol reciting his eloquent poetry in return for money and food. His remains are kept in the Stokes Croft museum, because he had no family or friends at his time of death to collect them.

Make up your own poem about where you live and what it means to you to be a Bristolian. You might like to write it in a Bristol dialect dictionary here or another native tongue you can speak. This might help you get started.

Go along to an open mic night and see if you can get inspired, or use youtube and the links below. One Bristolian poet you might like to use for inspiration is Miles Chambers

Once you’ve written something, and if you’re brave enough, try performing it to friends and family or at an open mic night yourself!

What you will need

Your own imagination, your own voice, probably something to write things down.

Safety tips

If you’re going to an open mic night, then make sure an adult knows where you are going and when you plan to be back. Think in advance about how you will get home safely in the dark. Your friends and family will probably want to come with you to see you in action, maybe you could arrange to travel home together or arrange a lift with them.

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