Sale Grammar is an 11-18 coeducational Academy Trust selective school, has specialist status in the Visual Arts and in Science with Maths. The school has also been given high performing specialist status by the DfE. The school gained Trust status in January 2010 having acquired high profile Trust partners and Academy status on 1st March 2011. In our last OFSTED report, the school was described as ‘Outstanding with an outstanding Sixth Form’.

Poet Coach: Martin Daws

Martin Daws is a live poet whose sets blend free musicality and innovative lyricism in a unique improvised theatre. Martin Daws’ work explores life and nature with a rare breadth of style and voice.

Martin is a double Farrago slam champ, and has been runner-up in both the Glastonbury Festival Slam and the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry. He got a coveted five star review on debut at the Edinburgh Festival and is the author of the acclaimed book / CD Skin Tight the Sidewalk. Martin Daws is a resident poet in Kingston University Writing School (London), The North End Writer’s Group (Liverpool) and Moelyci Environment Centre (North Wales).

Broadcast on numerous occasions by BBC Radio Wales, Martin has published in international journals, and performed extensively around the UK and Ireland. Martin’s rare ability to improvise poetry has led him into several ongoing collaborations with jazz musicians performing internationally at concerts and jazz festivals.

Shadow Artist: Nicole May

Nicole May is an up-and-coming poet and a founder member of Young Identity. She has performed nationally and internationally and was recently involved in Manchester Literature Festival for YI’s Speakeasy performance. She looks at controversial subjects such as child prostitution and the way women are perceived in British society and around the world. Nicole is a member of new production company called Inna Voice, which presented its first piece of poetic theatre – The Picasso Theory – earlier last year at Contact. She is currently studying, Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management at Liverpool Institution of Performing Arts (LIPA).


Accrington Academy is a popular, vibrant and successful 11-18, non-selective school. Our motto as part of the ULT family of academies is “The Best in Everyone”. Students achieve at Accrington Academy because they experience subjects and teaching that engages and inspires them. Each individual is supported and challenged to ensure they achieve their individual best.

Poet Coach: Ben Mellor

Ben is an award-winning slam poet, writer and actor who has performed his work at theatres, festivals, schools and young offender institutes nationally and internationally.

He is a founder member of spoken word/hip hop theatre collective, Pen-ultimate, who recently toured their debut show, A Night on the Tiles, around the UK and in Europe. Ben has a poetry collection and spoken word album, Light Made Solid, and he has had poetry, fiction and articles published in various places. He also performs spoken word and beatboxes in the band Geddes Loom.

Shadow Artist: Louise Fazackerley

Louise Fazackerley is a poet from Wigan. She studied Theatre Studies and Creative Writing at Lancaster University before going on to work with young people for 10 years in a variety of settings including schools, children’s homes, careers advice and youth work.

About three years ago she started to take her poetry seriously and set up The Secret Writers Club – a community writing group and The Talent Factory – an organisation that makes arts projects happen. She is currently working on a project with called The Risk Takers that introduces young people to poetry and contemporary dance.  Her poetry is currently displayed in the waiting room at Wigan Wallgate train station.


At Salford City Academy we are committed to providing an outstanding education for every child in our care. Taught in small classes of students of similar abilities, students study a wide range of subjects. Through our dynamic curriculum and our focus on providing an outstanding teaching and learning experience, we ensure students get the most of their time at school and have every chance to achieve their dreams and lead successful careers.

Poet Coach: Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson has been writing poetry since her childhood. She began writing about Black History when she was 9 years old and as a teenager she performed all over the country. She is a member of the poetry collective Young Identity. Recently she has begun writing short plays and short stories, one of which was turned into a short film and screened at Cornerhouse Manchester.

Since her involvement in Process 08 she has been a member of Contact Playback; an improvised Hip Hop theatre company headed by Dawn Crandell and Baba Israel.

Shadow Artist: Anita Welsh

 Anita Welsh is a female artist born and raised in Liverpool, and who has been dubbed as “potentially the best young talent” in the City with such great cultural heritage. Anita has showcased her talents on many levels across the UK via various festivals and over national and regional airwaves and has a strong, yet increasing fan base.


Chorlton High School is a High Performing Specialist Arts College that is rapidly transforming into a centre of learning excellence for the Chorlton Community. Chorlton High School is truly comprehensive. We are a mixed, multi-cultural and multi-faith school catering for students aged 11 to 16.
We are very proud of our diversity, as this is one of our many strengths.

We are a school at the heart of our local community.

We have chosen Year 10 to take part in Shake the Dust. We are really looking forward to celebrating our school’s diversity and creativity through the spoken word forum and the chance to forge links with poet coaches, Contact and other schools and youth groups.

Poet Coach: Chris Jam

ChriSJaM is a performance poet, DJ and radio presenter. Originally from London, he came to Manchester in 1986 at the height of the summer of love.

In 1994 he co-created Speakeasy, an open mic night for spoken word artists and lyricists of all forms. Three years ago ChriS helped create Wordsmith Awards, an inter school workshop and showcase project.

He has also recorded cult tracks such as the 2000 Blues and Hungry Ghost, and most recently Mancunian Way. ChriSJaM is also gigging with Manchester band the effektuators.

Shadow Artist: Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is a seasoned performer and multi slam winner, soon to have his third book of poetry published. He has been facilitating writing and poetry workshops for several years including workshops for adults with mental illness, adults with learning difficulties, children as well as mainstream. He uses sign language in performance and has won a national slam at the prestigious Cheltenham Literature Festival UK All Stars Slam and reached the final of the BBC Radio 4 Slam.


Young Identity is a community-based writing project for young people. They encourage literacy, critical thinking and active citizenship. Young Identity work and perform locally, nationally, and internationally providing young people with a platform to explore their expression.

Poet Coach: Ali Gadema

Ali Gadema has been working as an established rapper, poet, hip hop theatre practitioner and educator nationally for many years. He has received national and international recognition performing in Jamaica, Washington DC and other places around the globe.

Under the alias of Frisko Dan he founded Freestyle Mondays, a night of improvised lyricism and beatbox at the Contact Theatre. In 2005 Ali started Sharpening SAWDS, a hip-hop arts collective working with both established artists and young people from urban communities to produce dynamic and high-octane hip-hop theatre.

In 2007 he co-wrote, acted in and rehearsal directed the piece The Adventures of Carl Brogan, a Sharpening SAWDS production directed by Baba Israel and performed at Contact Theatre. He has written and performed a solo show Contradictions and co-founded the Pen-ultimate poetry collective.

Shadow Artist & Digital Champion: Danni Skerritt

Danni Skerritt plies his trade in Manchester. He writes music reviews, poetry, plays, novels, film scripts and much more. He also DJ’s and acts the fool.

He has lived in Manchester and Preston for nearly seven years. Moving from North London to study and achieve his dreams through gaining a fresh outlook on life. His life has benefited significantly with this chance to show what he can do with regards to changing and confirming peoples attitudes through performing arts. Danni has been exploring this since he graduated from the young writers programme at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool.