Fusing the mediums of spoken word and poetry set against a backdrop of Turner paintings, Late at Tate Britain housed a captivating poetry event last Friday 7th February as part of National Storytelling Week 14th anniversary.

A diverse audience filled The Clore Gallery and overflowed into it’s adjoining halls to witness the “Love Story” themed poetry performances, which included guest appearances from popular London poets Dean Atta and George The Poet. Hosted by Poetry Luv, an emerging London poetry night, the event showcased the work of young performers and writers from Lambeth who had attended workshops inside their local library in Clapham as part of the Tell Tales project.

Brixton based spoken word artist Elijah Kerr and club DJ Anthony Douglas created Poetry Luv in 2013, to help nurture and showcase young street poets and spoken word artists. Workshop leaders Nego True and Sophia Thakur introduced all acts to the packed Turner Room at Tate Britain. There were exceptional performances from George The Poet and Dean Atta and moving recitals from the young poets from Lambeth whose pieces were themed around Love & Friendship, Loves Complexity & Uncertainty, Messages & Confusion.

Dean Atta said: “Getting the chance to work with young people who might not have had the chance to ever tell their stories is a real gift and I really enjoyed performing alongside them”.

Funded by Arts Council England the Tell Tales projects are an innovative series of creative projects, which aim to improve literacy among young people in the run-up to National Storytelling Week 1-8 February. The projects offer 16-24 year olds who are not in work, education or training a chance to re-discover their local libraries while developing their literacy skills and gaining an Arts Award qualification. Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, said: “The Tell Tales project is a great programme that gives young people the opportunity to embrace literature and use it as a means to share their individual stories in their own way.”

Photography: Sai Photography