Inua Ellams is an award winning poet and performer, a writer with a style influenced by classic literature and hip-hop, as much by Keats as by MosDef. Rooted in a love for rhythm and language, he crosses eighteenth century romanticism and traditional story telling with contemporary diction, loose rhythm and rhyme.

As part of Tate Local and presented at Merge he will be performing poems written after many meetings with local workers and builders working on the Tate Modern development:

My latest collection of poems ‘Candy Coated Unicorns And Converse All Stars’ was published in November 2011 by Flipped Eye publishing. It’s themes are conversation and transformation. To celebrate those themes, instead of a book launch, I organised a nation-wide tour of homes. Seven living rooms / Seven cities / Seven consecutive days.. As part of my residency at the Tate Modern Project I wrote some poems about the architects and construction workers working on site. I’d like to bring a little of the candy coated tour to South London by sharing those poems and other works, with those who live close to the Tate Modern. I believe the intimate nature of these sharings will add another human face to the project as it settles into its second phase of construction.

– Inua Ellams

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