Queer Bodies, featuring Joelle Taylor

Queer Bodies

Photo credit: Karim Kamar

The School of Arts have teamed up with WoWFest2021, with students from across the School previewing events from this festival of radical writing, taking place throughout May. 

Delphie Jones (Communications & Media) previews Queer Bodies, featuring Joelle Taylor, Saturday 22 May, 4 pm. Tickets £8/£4 concessions.

Queer Bodies for the Student Body 

On 22 May a panel of critically acclaimed poets will take to the virtual stage, bringing a much-needed northern burst of creativity, diversity and artistic excellence to your laptops and phones. Queer Bodies Collective will join WoWFest to ignite passion, inspire action and challenge the taboo in an event that is important, particularly for students, in the heat of our current political climate. 

Multi award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor Joelle Taylor leads Queer Bodies’ influential exploration of social justice. Described by Writing on the Wall as ‘explosive and radical’, the collective’s queer northern writers write sensitive yet compelling poems on topics such as immigration laws and borders, mental-health issues, and experiences of assault.   

Questions of injustice at local and international scales have motivated an intense discourse amongst the student population. From supporting trans lives in the face of threats from the right, to the tragic murder of Sarah Everard and the ongoing debates about safety for all women, to the UK government’s negligent and cynical treatment of university students during the pandemic, the younger generation feel silenced. The underrepresented not only need a community, but are begging to be heard, and battling for a voice. 

These conversations are crucial and timely. With poets becoming the philosophical politicians, Queer Bodies invites impassioned students to the power of artistic activism. 

From the safety and comfort of your own home, this panel discussion with poetic readings aims to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for young LGBTQ+ and other minority students and aspiring writers. With concession tickets available, not only to students, but to those receiving benefits, over 60 or frontline workers, WoWFest ensures an accessible and affordable experience.

Joelle Taylor’s upcoming C+nto and Othered Poems gives insight into questions of politics, embodiment and desire. Taylor’s poems of sexuality, gender and stories of protest, self-expression and survival are described by renowned poet Hollie McNish as “visionary” and “powerful”. C+nto explores the notion that the female body is a political space. 

From their beginnings, Writing on the Wall have been keenly aware of questions of equality and justice. Born in the 90s Liverpool Dockers Strike, WoW understands the transformative capacity of the arts, seeing them as a weapon for resistance, change and healing. With community at its heart, the inclusion of students in their events is fundamental. The voices and views of the future deserve to be represented, supported and valued. WoWFest’s collaboration with Queer Bodies Collective aims to generate long-term impact and lasting effects that I am looking forward to very much; and you should be too. 

“Joelle Taylor’s poetry roars and soars and conjures up the most extraordinary images to express the unsayable, the shocking and ultimately the great compassion she feels for the plight of women around the world.”

Bernardine Evaristo – Author and joint winner of the Booker Prize 2019

“WoW promotes change whilst highlighting and tackling social and economic injustice. We aim to inspire personal and social transformation through writing and creativity. With a focus on writing which empowers we work with communities to gain strength through creativity.” 

Madeline Heneghan & Mike Morris – WoW Co-Directors

“These poems of witness are a reckoning, where the poet says – woman I am you, I see you, I feel you.” 

 Malika Booker – Writer, poet, artist

Stay up to date with Queer Bodies Collective website and social media here and @queerbodiespoetrycollective (Instagram).

Part of WoWFest21: celebrating 21 years of radical writing. Check out the full programme here