KAA Literary Festival 2023

by Vashti Turner  on March 12, 2023  in  Academy News Reading

KAA’s annual literary festival took place from Monday 6th to Friday 10th March 2023, and the week was packed with speakers, workshops, and competitions. Students enjoyed visits from Lola Oh, Emmanuelle Marcel, Chloe Carter, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Mat Riches, Harry Baker, Rebecca Jones and Francesca Beard.

Lola Oh is a poet, writer and facilitator, born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father. Lola is currently a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective, a 2021 Roundhouse Slam Finalist, Barbican Young Poet Alumn and has been featured by Apples and Snakes, BBC1xtra, English Touring Theatre, BoxedIn and Roundhouse’s The Last Word Festival. Lola worked with year 8 and 10 English classes on Monday, exploring family, loss, and ideas of black womanhood through poetry. Emmanuelle Marcel (a.k.a. Princess Emmanuelle) is the Founder and Chair of Kamitan Arts. Emmanuelle has worked extensively in our local community and produced a bilingual compilation poetry book including quotes, poems, raps, drawings and photos predominantly from the Grenfell effected community. Emmanuelle worked with students in years 8, 9, 10 and 12 on Monday.

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a writer, poet and educator disrupting understandings of history, race, knowledge and violence. She worked with students in years 7, 8 and 10 on Wednesday, delivering a theatre lecture to Year 7 students and smaller workshops with year 8 students during their English lessons, and the Year 10 English Academic Society. Mat Riches also visited on Wednesday. Mat is a published poet and researcher for ITV; he ran writing workshops with students in year 8 and 9. During lunch time staff and sixth form students ran a Comic Book Design sessions for students.

To mark International Women’s Day, we hosted a Women in Media Panel in collaboration with ITV on Thursday morning, spotlighting four inspiring women in the world of media and advertising. Emmanuelle Marcel returned on Thursday to deliver further poetry sessions with students. Harry Baker – the world’s youngest ever Poetry World Slam Champion – performed and spoke about his work for year 7 students in the theatre on Thursday.

Francesca Beard is a Malaysian writer and performance poet who uses London as a major inspiration in her work. Francesca delivered workshops for year 7, 8, 9 and 10 classes on Friday. Rebecca Jones is author of 18 children’s books and worked with two year 9 and 10 classes on Friday. The English department also ran a Poetry Slam during Friday lunch time – a huge congratulations to Ayah in HONEYBALL on winning the competition with her performance and earning 5,000 house points for Honeyball! Last but not least, staff entertained students with literary-themed fancy dress on Friday.


Our thanks to the KAA Intrepidus Trust for supporting another year of engaging Literary Week activities!


Cost of Living by Ayah 

Cost of living crisis has intensified POVERTY

Poverty, Inequality, Austerity and lack of opportunity

Four words that our current government dont seem to understand

But Even we are blinded by the luxuries given straight to our hands

You may think poverty happens to the minority

The ones with no Authority

they are held in captivity

Trying to Find other means of Economic stability

By this one word called poverty

But in reality we are the minority

Those who suffer at the words of our government are the majority

We need to do our daily duty

And help our community

Make sure we put compassion over difference

We need Equality over austerity

They are held in captivity

And that is the reality

We don’t appreciate what we have

Almost always guaranteed to have a home systematically

Home; a safe haven and a comfort zone

people are forced to live in unimaginable conditions


Is this really what you call global sustainability

Why is this the reality?

Why is so much being lost to so many because of the indecision of so few

We need to chose helping those in poverty have our opportunities

make sure poverty in this country is no longer a possibility

4 million far too many

There a 4 million children living in poverty

4 million children forced out of their innocence

We are trapped in a system that’s backwards and you’ll find yourself listening to a poem that is backwards too

Read it back up


BLACK by Michaela

Black ain’t something we get to choose,

But it is something we get to cherish.

Black is something we are proud of.

Black is my identity.


Black is being strong inside while facing defeat.

The police harass us in the streets.

But the government say they’re least racist.


People say they’re anti-racist,

But they use us like clickbait.

People struggling to get a job,

Racism, stop the hate.


People say ‘Black Lives Matter’

But if black lives matter

Then why are people struggling because of racism?

They say we’re aggressive,

But I say we are;



And beautiful.


Music by Poppy

In the beginning

it was there,

Its mezzo formo watching me,

its tempo afar.


In the ‘adolescent’ years,

It was there

Moving closer to me, In my times of despair

Its discordant melody racing towards me

And I away from it,

Diminishing its unfinished symphony into the air.


Near the end,

It was there,

It came towards me

And I froze in fear

it introduced itself to me

Yet a name it did not have.


At the end,

It was there

Its rhythm shimmering like beams from the sun

I had come to know that its names were many,

Beethoven, Mozart, Eminem!

Its tunes were many

Pop, Rock, the Blues.

I understood that its texture could be rough, stiff and soft.


When the time came again

It was there,

Still floating through the air

No longer diminished

I heard its chords, pitch and tone

However I was the one caressing the keys

Hand in Hand

Waiting for the end again

No responses to KAA Literary Festival 2023

Leave a Reply