Skip to content
Arnolfini - est 1961

Presented by Raise the Bar, in partnership with Arnolfini Featuring international spoken word legend and three time world champion poet Buddy Wakefield, Bristol’s City Poet Vanessa Kisuule, and Erin May Kelly.

Raise the Bar is a live event and online media platform bringing the country and world’s finest spoken word performers to Bristol, as well as a talent development platform for emerging artists in the South-West.

Buddy Wakefield is a three-time world champion spoken word artist, and has performed in over 1500 venues internationally. Buddy is published internationally in dozens of books with work used to win multiple national collegiate debate and forensics competitions. Wakefield, who is not concerned with what poetry is or is not, delivers raw, rounded, disarming performances of humor and heart.

Vanessa Kisuule is a writer and performer and Bristol City Poet 2018-2020, who has won over 10 slam titles including the UK National Slam in 2014. She has worked with the Southbank Centre, RADA, The Bristol City Council. Her poetry collections ‘Joyriding The Storm’ and ‘A Recipe For Socery’ are both published by Burning Eye.

Erin May Kelly is a writer and performer, a contributor to BBC The Social and 2017 winner of the “Write to end violence against women awards.” Earlier in 2018, her poem ‘Little Girls Don’t Stay Little Forever’ accumulated over 13 million views on Facebook. We’re delighted to be hosting Erin for her first live gig in Bristol!