spoken word poet

Image credit: Jardel Rodrigues

A University of Salford student performed his spoken word poetry at the British Council Literature Seminar in Berlin last month.

Jardel Rodrigues, who studies English and Creative Writing, has attended spoken word workshops at Young Identity since he was 17.

When the charity’s founder, Shirley May, had the chance to take some of the group to #BritLitBerlin, Mr Rodrigues’ was chosen to be among them.

The event 2019 connected writers, academics and lovers of reading alike in readings, discussions and workshops.

Jardel said: “When I found out, naturally I was buzzing. International work is always good to raise your profile and at such a prestigious and high level event as well, that was really cool.”

Mr Rodrigues caught the writing bug early in life. He said: “I’ve always enjoyed writing, ever since I can remember. It was writing music initially. I think I remember writing a song about the star on the Christmas tree when I was five.”

He went on to say: “I was rapping from the age of eleven.

“It wasn’t anything deep, it was just talking about somebody’s mum over a bass-line or niche beat that you were playing off your Walkman phone on the playground.”

When he reached college, however, he was looking to explore different methods of expression and stumbled across spoken word videos on YouTube.

He said: “I like to have fun with my music and leave the deep shit to my poetry, though I do like to have fun with my poetry as well.

“I just remember being young and angry.”

Not straying too far from his passion for grime music, Mr Rodrigues is working on a music project alongside his studies, as well as planning to release a collection of his work.

He added: “I am thinking of calling my book Spit. Spitting is a term that means rapping, basically. I want to call the book Spit because it’s where I started off.”

Staying close to his Mancunian roots, Mr Rodrigues is helping to organise a theatre production at this year’s Manchester International Festival, mixing poetry with dance.

He said: “Poetry has changed my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.

“I’m still young and even though I’ve come a long way as a writer, my writing’s only going to mature.”

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