The initial inspiration for Lyrically Justified (Volumes 1 & 2) came when two open mic promoters, Saiqa Rehman and Harry Lotta, felt the poets who spoke at their sessions deserved promoting.
Their website explains the influences behind their anthologies:
“The Urban Word Collective was born out of a dream of a shared space whereby Urban Poets could mutually promote, celebrate and inspire one another for the benefit of their communities and ultimately country. Such poets are the Bob Dylans of today and have so much to say, to add to navigating a tumultuous world. The world of poetry has never been exclusive to one tradition, rather a tree with roots that propagates, seeding for the present and future.”
Poetry compiler Shaun Clarke speaks here:
Volume 1 of the Lyrically Justified anthology from Urban Collective was released in 2016, and Volume 2 has recently been produced thanks to a Crowdfunding project. The books proudly display the diversity of the UK and, through independent publishing, poets who may not have been so lucky otherwise have a chance of being heard.
Urban poetry tells us stories with passion in rhythm and an almost-magical way of making the reader want to read out loud. The poets in these anthologies are offering an insight into their lives, minds, loves, and fears. Despite having started out as spoken word poets, their work translates well to the page. As much as it would be wonderful to find yourself at an open mic night in Bristol, and hear the poets sing, speak, rhyme, and chant, reading their lyrical prose can still feel like an intimate experience.
The poets come from varied backgrounds, having lived different lives but coming together in a mutual passion for expression through language and creative thought.
Not satisfied with just helping poets across the country, Urban Collective are giving proceeds from the sale of the books towards grassroots charities – 5-10% of donations are offered to Freedom Project (Bristol) and Leeds Young Authors.
With thanks to Polly at Arkbound social enterprise publishers for sending For Reading Addicts a copy of Lyrically Justified Volume 2!