Young Identity

Young Identity

Young Identity (YI) is an arts organisation and a charity (charity no. 1181088). Formed in 2006 by the writer and CEO Shirley May and actor Ali Gadema.

Young Identity delivers dynamic poetry and spoken word workshops for young people aged 13–30. YI are associate companies to Contact and HOME.

Young Identity manage One Mic Stand (affectionately known as OMS), a popular poetry showcase and slam night which takes place quarterly in Manchester, we have taken OMS flagship night to The Schaubuhne Festival International New Drama (Berlin, 2018 & 2019) and British Council Literature Seminar (Berlin, 2019)

Young Identity is dedicated to giving young people opportunities to perform their written work. We have recently launched a new 2-year program called Hatch, where we are developing the talents of up-and-coming poets to become professional artists in the industry.

Young Identity have worked with artists such as Lemn Sissay, international spoken word icon Saul Williams, dub poetry legend Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ted Hughes Prize Winner Kate Tempest and the late Amiri Baraka.

The work of Young Identity has also featured at Manchester International Festival 2019 as part of FlexN (a dance style pioneered by New York’s Reggie Roc Gray), a collaboration between explore new ways of storytelling through words and movement.

YI has performed all over the UK, from BoxedIn in London to Hay Festival in Herefordshire as well as internationally at Frankfurt Youth Poetry Slam in Germany to America’s Nuyorican Poetry Café. We work in partnership with Contact, HOME and Manchester Library Services and Manchester International Festival.