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An Evening of Poetry for Social Justice

The Finale to our Poetry for Social Justice competition is a two hour extravaganza of readings and discussions from our winners, numerous performers as well as from our wonderful Judges. The event will take place on 27th May 2021 from 6 – 8pm virtually by Zoom, further details to follow.


Our Judges, Poets and Performers (so far!):

Desree is an award-winning spoken word artist, writer and facilitator based in London and Slough.  

Currently Artist in Residence for poetry collective EMPOWORD, and an Ambassador for MQ; Mental Health Research Charity, Desree explores intersectionality, justice and social commentary. 

Producer for both Word Up and Word Of Mouth, finalist in 2018’s Hammer & Tongue national final and TEDx speaker, she has featured at events around the UK and internationally, including Glastonbury Festival 2019, Royal Albert Hall and Bowery Poetry New York.  Burning Eye Publishers will be republishing Desree’s first pamphlet, I Find My Strength In Simple Things in May 2021 and is available for preorder at


Claire Dyer’s poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press, her novels by Quercus and The Dome Press. Her novel, ‘The Significant Others of Odie May’ is forthcoming from Matador in 2021. She curates Reading’s Poets’ Café, teaches creative writing and runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire. Her website is:


Ian McKenzie has been a member of Amnesty for about 4 years and has taken an interest in human rights issues for as long as he can remember.

He was an English teacher for over 25 years and has been an examiner for English Language and English Literature for over 20 years. He is currently retired but continues his human rights activities with Amnesty. 

He has performed his poetry at various open mic events, around Reading: Bohemian Night at the Global Café; Open Page, Open Stage at Rising Sun Arts Centre; and Poets Café at South Street. 

More recently Ian has participated in international open mic poetry events and poetry workshops on Zoom, as well as continuing his activities with Bohemian Night and Poets Café events online.


Peter Robinson was born in Salford in 1953, and grew up mostly in Liverpool. He has a distinguished career as an award-winning poet, published literary critic, editor, translator and University Professor of Literatures in English.

‘finest poet of his generation’—PN Review  ‘a major English poet’—Poetry Review


Yasmine Shamma is a specialist in contemporary American and world poetry. She earned her DPhil from the University of Oxford, her MA from Georgetown University, and her BA from the American University of Beirut. She has worked as editor, writer, teacher, and scholar throughout the US, UK and Middle East.