Poetry : Swirl of Words / Swirl of Worlds. Friday 9th July 19:30-21:30

Hundred Years Gallery is delighted to partner with PEER to present an evening of music and poetry inspired by the richness and variety of Stephen WattsSwirl of Words / Swirl of Worlds collection of world poetries reflecting Hackney’s linguistic and cultural diversity. 

This event will be live streamed via PEER’s YouTube

Mikey Kirkpatrick (AKA Bird Radio) is a singer, flautist, composer, performer and Director of Alchemy  who has toured widely in the UK, Europe, North America and Russia. In direct response to the Swirl of Words poetry book, Mikey has created a number of flute improvisations inspired by the poems, which have been broadcast on Wild Lakes Radio. Throughout the evening, Mikey, together with Stephen Watts will – in a call and response kind of way – intersperse the reading of poems with new extemporisations.

During the evening there will also be readings from two Hackney based poets. Abdul Azeez Nasser came to the UK from Eritrea in the mid 1990s. He is both a poet and a painter and through both activities he addresses issues of history, creativity and internationalism.

Noel Grassy Macken is a poet, playwright, performer and painter who has lived in Hackney for many years. He has performed and exhibited internationally has had many of his plays broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm.

There will also be a performance from Kurdish singer Nawroz Oramari, who was forced to flee Iraq after facing persecution for singing in his own language.

The event coincides with the presentation of Mary Lemley’s ongoing archival project, My Life in Hackney Part Two. This text / sound installation will comprise recordings recently made from inside Lemley’s flat, which together with Hundred Years Gallery is located in the York Row Estate. Artist and writer Lemley moved to Hackney from New York in the early 1990s. She has presented work in many contexts, and Part One of My Life in Hackney began in 2001 and was exhibited at Laure Genillard Gallery in 2006 and at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge in 2009.

This event is part of Swirl of Words / Swirl of Worlds , a multi-platform and multi-media arts programme celebrating Hackney’s ethnic diversity and exploring how language shapes and informs cultural and individual identities. Over the summer, Hoxton Street neighbours PEER and Shoreditch Library will be the two main venues for a project that intersects visual arts with the written, spoken and printed word. The project has three main project strands:

  • A poetry publication consisting of over 100 poems, one to represent each language spoken in Hackney. The poems appear in their original language and their English translation. 3,000 copies of this book are now available for free to Hackney Library Members.

  • A multi-media group exhibition at both PEER and Shoreditch Library exploring themes of cultural identity, endangered and lost languages, modern communication, literary history and poetry.

  • A 10-week public programme of live and virtual events and workshops.


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