Globe Road Poetry Festival | The Basement Writers and the Stepney School Strike

12 November 2015

Time: 7:30 - 10:00pm
Venue: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, 277 Bancroft Road, London, E1 4DQ

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The Globe Road  Poetry Festival takes place on and around Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End Campus between 13 and 15 November 2015. The three day world poetry festival celebrates the diversity of local and global poetic traditions in London’s East End.

About this event

  • This is a 'taster' event, suitable for a general audience

Forty four years ago, eight hundred pupils went on strike in Stepney, demanding that their teacher, Chris Searle, be reinstated after the school fired him for publishing a book of their poetry. At a time of unrest, following strikes by postmen and dustmen, the children’s strike became national headline news and they received universal support in the press for their protest.

This event will include readings and discussions on the history of the ground-breaking 1970s poetry collective, by its founding members, including Chris Searle and Alan Gilby.

More information

  • This is a free, public event, but advance booking is essential

About the festival


With readings by Linton Kwesi Johnson, Myung Mi Kim, Daljit Nagra, M. NourbeSe Philip and Caroline Bergvall, and a host of local and international poets, the festival will celebrate the diverse poetic traditions of the multicultural community of Tower Hamlets.

From the influential anti-fascist Basement Writers of the 1970s, to the hugely popular contemporary Bangla and slam poetry scenes, the borough has always been a crossroads of languages, cultures and literatures. Globe Road gathers poets and performers of all backgrounds to celebrate the stunning array of international poetry available on our doorstep.


Globe Road’s focus this year is Translation and Technology. The Festival will explore how translation and technology can both create and bridge divides, enable new forms of creativity and engage new audiences with traditional and experimental poetic forms.

Through a variety of performances, inclusive discussions, workshops, slams, exhibitions and other events, Globe Road aims to foster an atmosphere of interaction, dialogue and collaboration.