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Young Poets Application 2021

Produce fresh, raw, and relevant work in the company of others who, like you, are passionately invested in the written and spoken word.

Barbican Young Poets is an artist development initiative and community for those who wish to explore what’s possible for their poetry and creative expression. Through a six-month programme, you’ll generate new writing, experiment with different ways of working, and refine a selection of your new work towards a publication, performance or presentation. Barbican Young Poets is facilitated by internationally renowned poet and performer, Jacob Sam-La Rose, and co-tutor, Rachel Long, with special sessions from invited guest artists along the way.


How to apply

  • Fill in the Barbican Young Poets online application form below.
  • The deadline for applications is Wednesday 15 September, 10:30am
  • You're welcome to submit a film/audio recording of your answers to the three questions in the form about your artistic work. For all other questions please write in the form.
  • You may also submit links and recordings of poetic work, but please include the text version of these for reference. 
  • If you have any other special access requirements relating to the application process or programme, please get in touch! Email [email protected] with ‘Barbican Young Poets’ in the subject line


Barbican Young Poets sessions will run at the Barbican Centre every other Wednesday evening, 6-8:30pm, from 20 October 2021 – 4 May 2022.

Participants will present their work at a showcase at the Barbican Centre on the weekend of 7 – 8 May 2022 (all day).

A plenary session will take place Wednesday 18 May.

Bursary Information

We have a bursary fund available that can assist in covering the cost of travel, childcare, Wi-Fi or other costs that would prevent your application or participation.

Download the bursary scheme guidance

Download the bursary scheme guidance in large print

COVID 19 impact

  • The Barbican Young Poets 2021-22 programme will run at the Barbican Centre, when Public Health England and Barbican Centre policy allows this, and we’d expect participants to be available to attend in person.
  • However, some sessions might be run online if public health guidance changes. We will aim to be as flexible as possible, recognising some participants might have particular COVID-related health or social reasons for not always being able to attend in person, with exceptions considered for those who may require alternative arrangements due to (mental and/or physical) health concerns – we’ll aim to be as flexible as possible.
  • Please read the Barbican’s Essential Safety Information page for the latest measures we have in place.
  • If we are required to adhere to a lockdown or increased social distancing measures, we will review the programme and consider how best to adapt this for online delivery within the schedule.


Your personal details




Your Parent/Carer's details (required if you are under 18 years old)



If you are in formal education or belong to a youth group, please fill in the contact details for your school, college, university or youth group below




Do you have any access needs? Please describe them.


If your application was successful, would you be interested in applying for a bursary grant?
How did you hear about this programme?
Are you a Young Barbican member?
Have you applied for any Young Creative programmes before?
Have you been successful?
Are you applying for any other programmes this year, at the Barbican or elsewhere?

You may be asked to attend an in-person recruitment evening with other young poets. Please tell us which evenings you are free below. If you can’t make any of these dates, we can still consider your application, but it is less likely that it will be successful.

Recruitment evenings

If you are offered a place on the programme, sessions will take place every other Wednesday 6-8:30pm. The first session will be Wednesday 20 October. You’ll need to be free to attend all sessions. Please note, participants will be required to work on their writing between sessions to build a portfolio of work. There will also be deadlines for the anthology and end of programme showcase. These dates may shift slightly but advance notice will be given if so.

  • Session 1      Wed 20 Oct
  • Session 2      Wed 3 Nov
  • Session 3      Wed 17 Nov
  • Session 4      Wed 1 Dec
  • Session 5      Wed 15 Dec
  • Session 6      Wed 12 Jan
  • Session 7      Wed 26 Jan
  • Session 8      Wed 9 Feb
  • Session 9      Wed 23 Feb
  • Session10     Wed 9 Mar
  • Session 11    Wed 23 Mar
  • Session 12    Wed 6 April
  • Session 13    Wed 20 April
  • Session 14    Wed 4 May
  • Showcase      Sat 7 – Sun 8 May
  • Plenary          Wed 18 May
Are you free to attend all the sessions listed above?

Please take a moment to look over the next three questions about your artistic work. Ensure you answer them all. If nothing else, we hope that answering them will serve as an opportunity for self-reflection.

Optional: You are welcome to film/audio record your answers for the next three questions, if you need:

  • Please answer these in one film/audio recording and state your full name at the start and the question number before giving each answer.
  • Film format: MP4 or MOV
  • Audio format: MP3 or WAV
  • Please ensure your film/audio for your answers is no longer than 5 minutes total
  • Please submit a Dropbox or Google drive link to your file. Please ensure it is a shareable link and the permissions to view have been granted. There isn’t the time during the application review process to seek these permissions.

Name a few poets, writers, lyricists and/or performers who’ve inspired or moved you and give us a sense of what it is about their work that speaks to you.

There’s no wrong or right answer here – we just want to get a sense of your influences and who or what you’re paying attention to. Feel free to say a few words about why, but we’re not looking for a long answer.


Considering what you know of the programme, what do you hope becoming a Barbican Young Poet will do for you and/or your poetry?

If you’re applying as a returning Barbican Young Poet, what would you want to explore further or do differently this year?


Please share a Dropbox or Google Drive link to an example of your poetry in the box below:

  • Include no more than 3 poems, no longer than 2 sides of A4 each, saved as one PDF document, titled ‘NAME_BYP Application.’ Please aim to show us the range of your work.
  • You are welcome to include links to your work on Soundcloud/Vimeo/YouTube etc. but please still include the text of each poem in the document.
  • Please ensure your link is shareable and the permissions to view have been granted as there isn’t the time during the application review process to seek these.


Equal opportunities monitoring form

We are working towards anti-racism and equity in all aspects of our work. Improving representation within the arts is an important part of our strategy. This includes improving how we collect, monitor and evaluate the demographics of our participants.

Additionally, we're funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and are required to contribute to their understanding of the organisations and artists they fund. When analysing this data, we will also compare our results with the Office for National Statistics to better understand how our demographic data compares with the regions in which we are working.

Answering these questions is completely optional. The information you supply to us will be kept secure and anonymous and will be used for monitoring, evaluation and reporting purposes only. Thank you

The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day to day activities.'

Do you consider yourself to have a disability?
Your ethnicity
Asian or Asian British
Black or Black British

Which type of school did you attend for the majority of your time between the ages of 11 and 16?


When you were aged about 14, which best describes the sort of work the main / highest income earner in your household did in their main job? We apply the following categories from the ACE Annual Survey.

Highest income earner
E.g. secretary, personal assistant, clerical worker, office clerk, call centre agent, nursing auxiliary, nursery nurse
Claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance or earlier unemployment benefit for more than a year
Claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance or earlier unemployment benefit for a year or less
E.g. office manager, retail manager, bank manager, restaurant manager, warehouse manager, publican
E.g. Teacher/lecturer, nurse, physiotherapist, social worker, welfare officer, actor, artist, musician, police officer (sergeant or above), software designer
E.g. HGV driver, van driver, cleaner, porter, packer, sewing machinist, messenger, labourer, waiter/waitress, bar staff
E.g. postal worker, machine operative, security guard, caretaker, farm worker, catering assistant, receptionist, sales assistant
Usually responsible for planning, organising and co-ordinating work for finance such as finance manages, chief executive etc
E.g. motor mechanic, fitter, inspector, plumber, printer, tool maker, electrician, gardener, train driver
E.g. solicitor, accountant, medical practitioner, scientist, civil/mechanical engineer

Your submission of this form to Barbican Creative Learning will constitute your confirmation of the following declaration:

  • I hereby confirm that the information I have given in this application is true and correct
  • I confirm my availability for the programme as per the dates given above
  • I agree that the Barbican may, for administrative purposes only, make copies of any material submitted in support of my application.
  • I agree to the Barbican processing personal data as part of the applications, registration, and learning support processes and accept that this information will be retained during and following my participation for administering my progress and for the provision of statistical returns.
  • By submitting this form, you give the Barbican permission to store and process your data in accordance with our privacy policy.