Why We Write

The Power of Poetry and the Written Word: In this exclusive series of interviews, we speak to Dr Maya Angelou (1928-2014, a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist), Sir Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009, Founder of the Poetry Archive), Lemn Sissay MBE (Internationally acclaimed poet, and Chancellor of the University of Manchester), Saul Williams (internationally acclaimed rapper, poet and actor), George the Poet (Poet and spoken word performer), Yann Martel (multi award-winning author, best known for his internationally acclaimed work ‘Life of Pi’) and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (MC of ‘The Roots’, actor and lyricist)..  We discuss the very fundamental question of why we write and explore the role of the written-word in culture, social change and the story of humanity itself.

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The Role of Hip Hop in Culture

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Russell Simmons (Co-Founder of Def Jam, Chairman & CEO of Rush Communications – described by USA Today as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years”) and Tricia Rose (Professor of Africana Studies and Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University). We discuss the story of hip-hop, its growth into a global phenomenon and how hip-hop reflects the extreme social realities of urban culture globally.

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