Art / Culture

Meet the new generation of poets to watch in 2019

In celebration of World Poetry Day [21st March], we have compiled a list of new-gen poets to watch in 2019. All sharing their work on social media, these 21st century voices share the perils and stimulants of what it means to be a young person living their life online and off of it.

Abundance Matanda, @abondance_

Abundance Matanda is the teenage poet who faultlessly expresses what it means to be a 21st century girl. Inspired by a plethora of powerful black women, Abondace’s poetry tends to focus on her experience as a black working class female and her experience growing up in Tottenham. Matanda embodies what it means to be a creative living online, by using slang and text language in her poetry, making her work appropriate for the physical and the online platform.

Rachael Allen, @rachaelvallen

Rachael Allen was originally featured on the Faber New Poets series and has gone from strength to strength subsequently as she has just published a collection of poems called Kingdomland. Her published poems navigate through a world of tragedies and travesties as Allen is intent on uncovering the grotesque in the everyday.

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Brian Bilston, @brian_bilston

He has previously been dubbed the “accidental poet laureate of Twitter”, with endless wit, imaginative wordplay and underlying heartache, he offers profound insights into modern life, exploring themes as diverse as love, death, the inestimable value of a mobile phone charger, the unbearable torment of forgetting to put the rubbish out, and the improbably nuances of the English Language.

Sonny Hall, @sonny_hall

Sonny Hall is a 20-year-old model and poet who uses his writing to heal. He’s inspired by Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski and others who ‘tell it like it is’ as said from his interview with ES magazine. After starring in Rita Ora’s music video for Let You Love Me and featuring in numerous ad campaigns, Hall has amassed a following of over 100,000 on his social media and is using his influence to share his poetry and positive awareness surrounding mental health.

Wilson Oryema, @wilson_oryema

Wilson Oryema released his latest book Wait in early 2018 – the book is an elegant treatise on how humankind can wean itself off consumerism. In Wait, Oryema examines the effects of human consumption on the planet in a thoughtful and moving way, through short stories and poems. In an interview with the Guardian, the 24 year-old said, “I want everything I do to prompt conversation. I want you to tell me what you think. Of course I’m not going to reach every person on the planet but I definitely feel people are alienated and not aware of what’s going on”.

Scarlett Sabet, @scarlettzsabet

Renowned for her powerful poetry readings, Scarlett Sabet explores themes of love in its purest form to destructive lust with a dark, random rhythm. She told us earlier this year: “I have a huge respect for William Burroughs, Brion Gysion, Kerouac, Neal, Ginsberg… I feel those beat generation writers were truly courageous, and really living to their own principles. They upheld their art above all else, and were ravenous in their explorations socially, sexually, culturally.”

James Massiah, @jamesmassiah

South London based James Massiah uses his poetic verses to illustrate the shift in cultures in various neighbourhoods around London. His portrayal of gentrification paints a vividly realistic picture of London youth and has been well and widely received; he has hosted poetry sessions and radio shows across the capital as well as being commissioned to produce work for the BBC & The Guardian. In an interview with Coeval magazine, Massiah explained how he enjoys writing on the move; “when I am on my bike or in the shower – some of the best stuff that I have made, didn’t happen while sitting with my pen.”

21 March 2019