Shake the Dust is a national celebration of the power of spoken word in education. As Olympic and Paralympic athletes train, young people from across the country worked with leading spoken word artists to share their stories and find their voices through slam poetry.

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Here’s a selection of quotes about Shake the Dust:

“Its been a joy to work on Shake The Dust. These are passionate, thoughtful young writers, and I hope the project gives them a positive experience that they will carry with them for a long time.”

Ross Sutherland, Poet Coach (East)

“Hosting Shake the Dust at Nottingham Playhouse is an amazing coup for a leading Regional Theatre which produces nationally acclaimed, innovative work.

Beatrice Udeh, Creative Producer – Diversity, Nottingham Playhouse (East Midlands)

“What an opportunity to develop talent in the London area! Shake the Dust has the ability to show how affirmative and powerful spoken word can be for young people.”  

Sifundo, Creative Producer of London Teenage Poetry SLAM (London)

What’s even more powerful about Shake the Dust is that it will bring them together as part of a bigger project and connect them with other young people regionally and nationally.” 

Kate Fox, Poet Coach (North East)

This project helps young people develop their skills, find their voice and collaborate to create new work, all goals that are at the heart of Contact’s ethos. It’s going to be an amazing event, which we want to share with as many people as possible.”

Baba Israel, Artistic Director, Contact (North West)

“Every single time my poet coach and I have had a session, I walk away looking at the world in a different way. On the train back I can’t stop writing, I see scope all around me, and I have some impressive lines going round in my head, that the young people we work with came up with, which inspire me in return.

Louise Halvardsson, Shadow Artist (South East)

We are so excited to be the South West venue partner on the Shake the Dust project. Being involved in Shake the Dust means that we are part of the growing spoken word landscape in Plymouth. What particularly interests us is young people’s voices and shining a spotlight on those that would normally be unheard.

Karen Lodge, The Barbican Theatre (South West)

“This is a bostin opportunity to develop talent in the Birmingham area. I hope that the young people involved with Shake the Dust get a really positive experience that they’ll carry with them for a long time – something that will enrich them as I know, first hand, poetry and spoken word can do.”

Giovanni Esposito (Spoz), Write Down Speak Up & Shadow Artist (West Midlands)

Not only is this an amazing experience for young people from Leeds to learn new skills from Spoken Word experts, they also have this unique and exciting opportunity to represent their school performing on the Playhouse stage alongside theatre professionals.” 

Ruth Hannant, West Yorkshire Playhouse (Yorkshire & Humberside)