Manifesto in Verse

Manifesto in Verse is Studio12’s writing, poetry and spokenword project.

We support our group in developing their ideas, writing and performance skills, in addition to creating exciting opportunities for poets to showcase their work. To date our poets have performed in the House of Lords and at Leeds LitFest, had their films of work streamed internationally, and their spoken word broadcast live to international audiences via radio!

Are you interested in joining this group? Drop us an email and we will put you on the next workshop.

Studio12’s first project as part of Centenary Cities, celebrating 100 years since women got the right to vote, was A Manifesto in Verse. Inspired by Leeds Libraries collections a group of young women from diverse cultures produced writing with Khadijah Ibrahiim, an established Leeds activist, poet and theatre maker. They then worked with Studio12 to create an immersive exhibition by creating collections of poems, performances, sound and visuals on topics historically linked to suffrage yet also within modern society. The collections were captured through film and photography, then transformed into virtual reality.

Leeds Libraries Voicebox Cafés project was run by the Good Things Foundation and delivered by Studio12. Studio12 chose to take part in the Voicebox Cafes project to develop the strong work produced during Manifesto in Verse, yet provide more women from different Leeds communities opportunities to express their views through writing, spoken word and performance. Over 4 months we ran events that supported 25 women to understand, celebrate and participate in democracy and public life. 36 UK Online Centres around the country took part in the project, celebrating 100 years since some women got the right to vote. Manifesto in Verse participants acted as ambassadors for the Voicebox Cafés project, inspiring other women to build their own and each other’s confidence in speaking out on issues that matter to them: contemplating our places in society as women, using our voice, how society perceive us, what freedom means and issues we would campaign for.




Image of Asma Elbadawi




To celebrate the project Studio12 ran a social media campaign to showcase the spoken word films in an online exhibition during UK Parliament Week. Additionally Studio12 were invited to a celebration event at the House of Lords and attended with Rheima Robinson (leader of The Sunday Practise) and Khadijah Ibrahiim. Rheima performed spoken word on the main stage in front of MPs and Good Things Foundation staff. Khadijah participated in the Speakers Corner, where she spoke about the writing workshops she led and shared one of her poems.

As Voicebox Cafes enabled Studio12 to form a diverse collective of influential young female poets and artists in Leeds who are keen to continue working with us, we further showcased the work at Leeds LitFest which celebrates the vibrant and thriving Leeds literature scene by involving local writers, performers and artists to display their talent alongside those from across the UK and internationally. The event was filmed using a 360-degree camera and live streamed as part of an international Borderlines showcase day. We also broadcast live via Chapel FM’s Writing On Air Festival, reaching local and international audiences. The literature festival is distinctive in that all the programmes are conceived and created by writers and readers themselves.

Four Studio12 poets were broadcast live in Chapel FM’s Writing on Air Festival, reaching local & international audiences. 

Studio12 Voicebox Cafes: Workshops - Behind the Scenes