Kieron Rennie in da House

IMG_3954IMG_3956Whenever I’m in Kieron’s company, he’s quiet, calm, collected, (maybe) a bit shy and he describes things exactly as they are. I guess that must help his work as a poet but I’m no expert. From last year, I hounded him a little and then he finally agreed to let me feature him on the blog. Check him out for yourself… Ladies and gentleman, I give you Zionite Poet.

I have lived in Tottenham my whole life, but I attended Lea Valley High School in Enfield. I first encountered poetry when I was in year four. I recall my teacher asking the class to write poems, I wrote a poem about a waterfall which was well received. We performed our poems in assembly [and] it was then I realised I liked poetry. However, I didn’t embrace poetry again until my late teens. I noticed I may be good at it after becoming a finalist in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2010, something I was proud of as this was the first time I had taken part in a poetry slam. I was then recommended to apply for the Barbican Young Poets programme.

My highlight so far was performing in the cross arts production, Unleashed, at the Barbican. This gave me the opportunity to articulate the pressures experienced by many young people in today’s society – something that was necessary following the riots, which depicted the youth in a negative light. This experience was more than a performance, the whole cast became a family – supporting and encouraging each other. We were given a space to unleash a positive representation of young people and this will always be a moment in my life I will treasure. I’d definitely say I enjoy performing the most because writing is often a solitary act.  Whereas, performing poetry gives me the chance to connect with an audience – similar to having a conversation with friends.

I became a Barbican Young Poet in 2010, following a recommendation from Warsan Shire. I have been affiliated with the Barbican ever since, taking part in various performance opportunities such as Snapshot Songs, Barbican Weekender: We Create 2014 (Responding to UVA’s Momentum Installation), Unleashed, Barbican Weekender – Common Grounds: Musings on Meaning in the City, Barbican Young Poet Showcase – 2011-2014.  I have recently completed a six-month commission at the Barbican, writing poems responding to a photography exhibition: Constructing Worlds. One of the poems can be found in the Art book produced as part of the project, titled: Bridging Worlds: Photographs of London by Young Artists – available for purchase online via Waterstones.  I really enjoyed the challenge of writing in response to photography, and the experience has given me a greater appreciation for the art form.

I am currently writing new material and exploring potential collaboration opportunities. I would love to perform my work in front of a Tottenham audience – hopefully, I can do so in the near future! @Kieronrennie

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