Unwritten Poems - 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW / What's On / Unwritten Poems

Unwritten Poems

BIRMINGHAM & HULL

Image credit: IWM (Q 1202)

Unwritten Poems invites poets of the Caribbean diaspora to explore new perspectives on the Caribbean experience during the First World War.

In 1915, Britain’s War Office agreed to accept the first volunteers from the West Indies. A total of 15,600 men eventually joined the British West Indian Regiment’s 11 battalions during the First World War. However, these soldiers’ stories remain largely unheard – and while the wealth of First World War poetry has had a profound impact on our understanding of the conflict, very little of it addresses the war’s impact on the Caribbean men who served, their families and communities, and the relationship between the Caribbean and the UK in the decades that followed. Unwritten Poems considers what it means to be cast into and then omitted from a story or events, left voiceless on a cultural landscape that treasures self-expression.

As well as being performed in a special event in Birmingham on National Poetry Day, this new work will appear in an anthology Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War published by Nine Arches Press.  Like the soldiers themselves, the writers gathered here are connected to various countries, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia and Guyana. They are Karen McCarthy Woolf, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Kat Francois, Jay T. John, Anthony Joseph, Ishion Hutchinson, Charnell Lucien, Vladimir Lucien and Tanya Shirley.

Unwritten Poems will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Contains Strong Language festival 2018

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, BBC Contains Strong Language and the British Council

You May Also Like

The Art Of Border Living

The Art Of Border Living

Northern Ireland

A sonic adventure, this creative documentary features a wealth of newly commissioned writing inspired by borderlands over the past 100 years.

Find Out More
Traces Of The Great War

CHARLIE ADLARD, SIMON ARMITAGE, EDMOND BAUDOIN, JUAN DÍAZ CANALES, RÉGIS HAUTIÈRE, JOE KELLY, KRIS, THOMAS VON KUMMANT, VICTORIA LOMASKO, MAËL, DAVE MCKEAN, MIKIKO, ROBBIE MORRISON, KEN NIIMURA, SEAN PHILLIPS, IAN RANKIN, RIFF REB’S, ORIJIT SEN, BRYAN TALBOT, MARY TALBOT AND MORETraces Of The Great War

Kendal, UK / Albert, France

Dave McKean, Ian Rankin and Sean Phillips are among the stellar contributors to this new anthology of illustrated short stories exploring the resonance of the war today.

Find Out More
James Reese Europe And The Absence Of Ruin

Jason Moran, John AkomfrahJames Reese Europe And The Absence Of Ruin

National tour

A pioneering American musician joins an acclaimed British filmmaker in this multifaceted work that retells the story of the man who brought jazz to Europe during wartime.

Find Out More
Dazzle Ship New York

Tauba AuerbachDazzle Ship New York

Free New York Harbor

Inspired by the experimental camouflage used on First World War ships, 14-18 NOW’s Dazzle Ship project crosses the Atlantic for the first time.

Find Out More
Close

Don’t Miss Out

Join the mailing list

Be the first to hear about our programme and event news.

For more information about how we collect, store and use your personal information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Close