In September, the BBC’s Contains Strong Language festival took over venues and public spaces across Hull for the largest spoken word and poetry event the UK has ever seen.

Poetry in the UK is enjoying a renaissance. Spoken word, performance poetry and live literature events have seen a nationwide resurgence, with artists such as Kate Tempest bringing the art form further into the mainstream in recent years.

For its inaugural year, and as part of the City of Culture, the BBC’s new national celebration of poetry and spoken word presented leading local, national, international poets and world-class spoken word artists alongside brand new voices in a four-day programme taking place across Hull.

A group of 17 poets were selected as 'The Hull 17' for Contains Strong Language, with each being commissioned to create brand new work which was premiered during the festival. The programme also celebrated Hull’s status as a city which has inspired poets in the past, such as Philip Larkin, Andrew Marvell and Stevie Smith.

Alongside the festival in Hull, the BBC produced a digital programme, allowing audiences all over the world to enjoy highlights of the events, some of which you can watch below.

The Renaissance is Here

In the video above, watch some of the highlights of the first two days of the festival, with reactions from BBC presenter Ian McMillan, British poets Isaiah Hull and Joelle Taylor, Polish poet Bohdan Piasecki.

This Tide of Humber

Hull-based all-male contemporary dance company, JoinedUp Dance were commissioned to create a new piece in response to This Tide of Humber a new poem by British poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker. Written especially for the Contains Strong Language festival, the poem reflects on the unique landscape and geography of Hull and the Humber River.

JoinedUp Dance’s wistful piece is set to an original score by composer Joe Roper. In the film above, take a look behind the scenes of the making of the dance piece and hear from Imtiaz about her poem and her reaction to the interpretation.

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