Tate Modern Talk

Apples and Snakes at Tate: Poetry Evening with Joelle Taylor

Join award winning poet, playwright, critic and author Joelle Taylor presenting her new poetry collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me published by Out-Spoken Press

Songs My Enemy Taught Me is a collection of poems themed around the experiences of women globally, but it had simple beginnings.

It began with me. It began with a small child in a hotel room not wanting to speak. It began with opera, but the kind that cannot be heard. It began at the point at which I ended. This is a book about colonisation and terrorism, about invasion and ownership. It is a survival manual, a map, a photograph, a song. It is internet at 2am. It is the way your mother just looked at you. It is the way the girl in front of you on the soft journey home just reached for her keys. It is your hand reaching for keys.

Joelle will read from her work, followed by a Q & A and book signing.


Joelle Taylor is an award winning poet, playwright, critic and author, and the founder of the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships. She has performed her poetry nationally and internationally (Greece, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Brazil, Finland, Indonesia) in venues ranging from the 100 Club to Parliament, and is the host of Out-Spoken poetry and music club in London. She has been anthologised widely in English, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Arabic and Ndebele. In 2017 she led a masterclass tour of the UK supported by the Arts Council, working with women from marginalised communities – from prions to conflict zones – to enable them to write their life stories. She is a Subject for Study on the OCR English syllabus, and has featured on Tedx Talks and Outsider Lectures. She was recently awarded a Southbank Centre Change Maker prize, awarded annually in recognition of life changing work, as well as a Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts. She was longlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2017.

Tate Modern

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Date & Time

16 February 2018 at 19.30–20.30