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Polari: Celebrating LGBTQ+ writing talent

Sat 25 Mar, 7:00 pm8:45 pm

About the event

Enjoy readings from a rich and exciting range of LGBTQ+ writing talent. Polari is hosted by author and journalist Paul Burston, with performance from Adam Lowe, Joelle Taylor and Will Belshah.

“Always fun, always thought-provoking – a guaranteed great night out” Sarah Waters

Founded by author and journalist Paul Burston in a bar in Soho in 2007, award-winning literary salon Polari showcases and celebrates the best in LGBTQ+ poetry and writing.

The Polari Prize is the UK’s only book prize for LGBTQ+ writing. It comprises three awards: Book of the Year, Debut book and children’s/YA prize.

Paul Burston is curator and host of award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon Polari and founder of the Polari Prize book awards for LGBTQ+ writers, based at the British Library. In 2016, he featured in the British Council’s Global List of ’33 visionary people promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world’. A Rainbow List National Treasure, he is one of the subjects of Alexis Gregory’s critically acclaimed verbatim play Riot Act, which celebrates generations of gay activism from the Stonewall Riots to the present day. Paul Burston is the author of six novels and five non-fiction books and the editor of two short-story collections. His memoir We Can Be Heroes: A Survivor’s Story will be published by Little A on 1 June 2023 and is a tale of living through two pandemics, surviving two near death experiences and battling his own demons. “This memoir is brutally honest, powering through the AIDS crisis, gay shame, addiction, all the way through to hope and redemption. If you’re in trouble, read this: Paul shows that you can survive. Wonderful.” Russell T Davies

Adam Lowe is the UK’s LGBT+ History Month Poet Laureate and was Yorkshire’s Olympic Poet for 2012. He is a writer and performer of St Kitts, Irish and British heritage, who grew up in Leeds and now lives in Salford. Adam is sometimes known by his alter ego, Beyonce Holes! Adam has taught at the University of Leeds and the University of Central Lancashire, and has worked with The Poetry School and English PEN. He was named one of the “20 best writers under 40” in Leeds for the LS13 Awards and his chapbook Precocious was a reader nomination for the Guardian First Book Prize. He was a finalist for the Venture Poetry Awards, Eric Hoffer Award and Lambda Literary Awards, and is a graduate of The Complete Works and Obsidian. His debut full-length collection Patterflash will be published by Peepal Tree Press in June.

Joelle Taylor is the winner of the 2022 Polari Prize. An award-winning poet and author completed a world tour with her collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me. She founded SLAMbassadors, the UK national youth poetry slam championships, as well as the international spoken-word project Borderlines. She is widely anthologised, the author of four collections of poetry and is currently completing her debut collection of inter-connecting short stories The Night Alphabet. Her new poetry collection C+NTO & Othered Poems was was shortlisted for the T.S Eliot Prize 2021 and is the subject of the R4 arts documentary Butch. She has received a Changemaker Award from the Southbank Centre, a Fellowship of the RSA, and her poem “Valentine” was Highly Commended in the Forward Prize. She is a co-curator and host of Out-Spoken Live at the Southbank Centre, and commissioning editor at Out-Spoken Press.

Will Belshah is an artist and poet who lives and works in Manchester. Predominantly working with paint, they explore protest, queerness, neurodivergence, gender, sexuality, class, futurism, childhood and race. Will was first invited to perform their poetry at Polari in Manchester, where they went down a storm. They are currently working on an exhibition and more poetry

Date: Saturday 25 March

Time: 7pm-8.45pm

Venue: Small Seeds (under Bar Maroc), corner of Castlegate/New Street, Huddersfield HD1 2UD

Tickets: £7 (£5 conc); Early Bird: £5 (£3 conc) to 15 February. Essential Carer’s Ticket free

Age guidance: 16+

Access Guide:


Concessions are for those over the age of 65 or over and anyone with a disability.

Proof of age and/or disability must be shown on entry.

You may be refused entry if you do not provide tickets and proof required on entry to the event.

We cannot be held responsible for the facilities provided by the venue.

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.

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Small Seeds, Castlegate (New Street junction), HD1 2UD
Small Seeds, 120 New Street, Castlegate
Huddersfield, HD1 2UD United Kingdom
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