Breaking Through with Poetry at Conceal and Reveal

Poetry and its relevance and importance in the lives of young people is a topic that comes up again and again when we talk to our members about what they’d like to see at the CBI Conference. For Conceal and Reveal, we are thrilled to welcome two vibrant and exciting voices in poetry for young people, Aisling Fahey, who is the current Young Poet Laureate for London (2014-15) and Steven Camden, aka Polarbear.

Aisling Fahey says she’s always been a writer, ever since making poems with magnetic strips on her dad’s fridge. A graduate of University of Exeter, her poetry often addresses the concerns and realities of being a young woman. She is a Slambassadors Youth Champion and London Teenage Poetry Senior Slam Winner, and has performed to a wide range of audiences, from Glastonbury Festival to Tate Britain, Battersea Arts Centre and Royal Festival Hall. Aisling was selected as Young poet Laureate for London from a shortlist of six young poets aged 18-25 by a high profile panel, including poets Nick Makoha and Jacob Sam La Rose. The programme is managed by Spread the Word and supported by The Legacy List. This terrific opportunity supports and develops some of London’s most talented young poets, generating income possibilities, creating work opportunities and elevating the profile of the successful poets, accelerating their careers as creative professionals. She has spent her year as Young Poet Laureate undertaking a series of commissions and residencies including in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Free Word Centre and the London Irish Centre. During the residencies Aisling will spend up to two weeks getting to know a place and a community, sharing poetry, ideas and skills. Each residency provides a unique opportunity to create new work and to share her love of poetry. In the Stadium for example, Aisling has been getting to know the 500 construction workers – talking to them about their families, their jobs, their dreams and their loves.

Follow her year at: #YPLLondon / @_AislingF on Twitter /

Steven Camden, also known as Polarbear, is a performance poet, novelist and playwright. His debut novel for young adults, Tape, was published by HarperCollins, as was It’s About Love, which was published in June. Born and raised in the city of Birmingham, Steven is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK. After an accidental fall into spoken word involving a broken P.A system and a complete misunderstanding, he developed into a fully-fledged spoken word artist known for delivering stories that make sense. In his unique performances, language and rhyme patterns from his Hip-Hop roots combine with the day-to-day sentiment of a man trying to figure things out.

Steven has been leading young people’s writing and performance projects with schools and arts organisations since 2006. He has delivered story writing and spoken word courses with the British Council in Malaysia, Slovenia and Rotterdam. He has led the spoken word course for The Roundhouse since 2009, which develops spoken word artists aged 11-25. He was a lead artist for Ministry of Stories and The Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Housekeeping. He has been commissioned by BBC radio 3 and 4 to write narrative pieces for broadcast and his work has also featured on Radio 1 and 6 music.

He has been lucky enough to perform his narrative spoken word around the world from Glastonbury to California and has toured four feature length theatrical monologues nationally and internationally. Steven’s first play, Back Down, premiered in February in Birmingham.

@homeofpolar on Twitter

To book tickets for Conceal and Reveal: Truth and Lies in Children’s Books, click here.

For the full line-up and timetable, click here.