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Renaissance One, Tilt and Carnival Village Host LONDON IS THE PLACE FOR ME 2014 Festival This Weekend

Renaissance One and Tilt with Carnival Village and partners present "London is the Place for Me 2014". The second weekend festival of literature, music and limin' returns to celebrate the vibrancy of the Caribbean and its love affair with London, curated by Melanie Abrahams, Ray Funk and Alexander D Great and running at The Tabernacle, London W11 this weekend, 25th and 26th October 2014, with events from noon until late.

Showcasing the vibrant cultural exchange between London and the Caribbean and London as a global city, London is the Place for Me will feature more than 20 intergenerational artists, raconteurs and movers and shakers in a melting pot of liming, music, film, family workshops, debate and food and drink.

Held within a glorious carnival atmosphere, performers from Trinidad and Tobago, to Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana and Barbados will come together to celebrate the liveliness, uniqueness and cultural diversity of the Caribbean. Performances, events and workshops will cover the themes of calypso, pan, film, carnival, cricket, Lord Kitchener with a strong focus on London as the place many have come to live, settle in and call home. Jamaica's current Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris will present a talk about legendary poet, folklorist and arts pioneer Miss Lou (Louise Bennett). The Rum Shop Lime stage in the foyer will feature performances and talk by poets, novelists and calypsonians and there will be food and plenty limin'.

Spoken word meets carnival for one of the main events, London Liming which features a stellar line-up of calypsonians, poets, and raconteurs who are inspired by home, diaspora and personal stories. The event features live performances by Women of Steel, John Agard (winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry (2013), Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Tobago Crusoe, Abdul Malik, Anthony Joseph, Monique Roffey, Alexander D Great, Malika Booker, Jamie Renton and more.

Full festival timings can be found at

Melanie Abrahams, founder of Tilt and Renaissance One, who co-curated the programme, said: "London is the Place for Me is for everyone from the curious, to the frequent travellers, to those who imagine and create through delving into their history, memories and imaginations such as the artists you'll experience during the weekend.

"The Caribbean was always the 'new world' well before the phrase was coined, due to its mix of races, cultures, foods and geography. You'll find such variety at the festival through fantastic line-ups of writers and wordsmiths, steelpan, calypsonians, raconteurs and a Rum Shop Lime stage offering live performances. London-born and of Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage, I feel just as Caribbean as I do a Londoner. London is still the place for me."

Renaissance one and Tilt create convivial and mood-changing high quality mashups of music, performance and culture and are curious and excited about the best in contemporary culture for the last 20 years. Many of their projects are Caribbean-focused, leading to the birth of the bi-annual festival London is The Place for Me.

They have fostered partnerships with leading international authors (of Caribbean origin) including Caryl Phillips, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hannah Lowe, Patience Agbabi, Gary Younge, Earl Lovelace, Michael Donaghy, Daljit Nagra, Will Self, Ali Smith. Renaissance One has been recognised in a variety of ways including for the 'Ethnic Multicultural Media (EMMA) Awards, a nomination for Best Play/Theatre for spoken word show Modern Love and a Women To Watch' Award for Director Melanie Abrahams.

In 2012, renaissance one produced the first London Is The Place For Me festival, which ran for two weeks at the Tricycle Theatre as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Village and was a cultural companion to the Olympics. The two week programme involved more than 50 movers and shakers of T&T origin presented family friendly events, classical concerts, a Liming party, a staging of Three Sisters by Mustapha Matura, international visits to London by writer Earl Lovelace, storyteller Paul Keens-Douglas, writer and performer Eintou Springer, storyteller Ava Hutchinson, actor Brian Green and visual artist Che Lovelace, as well as a film and talks programme.

Carnival Village and Partners is London's development agency for carnival arts. They spotlight the arts, crafts and business of a relatively unsung art form in the UK, extending to its roots and broader culture. With preparation and performance central to the artform, they host venues in Notting Hill, West London. Carnival Arts and African Caribbean events add to a diverse programme from theatre, music and dance to comedy and film. Their aim is to make a significant contribution to the nation's artistic landscape and to the enrichment of people's lives by developing and delivering carnival arts that are primarily rooted in Caribbean cultural traditions to a wider audience.

The festival runs at The Tabernacle,Powis Square, London, W11 2AY, 25th and 26th October 2014 from noon (doors at 11.30am) until (Sat) 10.30pm and (Sun) 9.30pm. Early bird weekend ticket £15 (until 5th Oct) | Weekend ticket £20 | Day ticket: £12.50 | £1 off for residents. Each ticket permits two children under 12 when accompanied by an adult. For tickets and more information, visit or call 0207 221 9700.

About Liming: Liming is a spoken word event in which the Trinidad 'liming' ethos is brought to a city or area - it encourages a feelgood carnival mood and a 'go with the flow' mindset and offers performances from the best poets, prose writers and raconteurs - creating something totally fresh. Initiated by award-winning curator Melanie Abrahams (Women to Watch Award), the shows take on the flavour of their locality through intoxicating party atmospheres, themed cocktails, food, live music and the best DJs around.

Main artist biographies:

Mervyn Morris (Jamaica)

Mervyn Morris, recently appointed Poet Laureate of Jamaica, was born in Kingston in 1937. He studied at the University College of the West Indies and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. From 1966 until 2002 he was on the staff of the University of the West Indies, from which he retired as Professor of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature. His books of poems include The Pond, Shadowboxing and Examination Centre (New Beacon Books, London), On Holy Week (Dangaroo Press, Sydney), and I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, Manchester, 2006). There is a Poetry Archive CD of Mervyn Morris Reading from his Poems. He edited Selected Poems by Louise Bennett (Sangster's Book Stores).

John Agard (Guyana/UK)

Playwright, poet, short-story and children's writer John Agard lives in South East England was born in 1949 in British Guiana (now Guyana). He was the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry award winner from 2013 - 2014. His books and poetry are studied widely at GCSE level. He worked for the Guyana Sunday Chronicle newspaper as sub-editor and feature writer before moving to England in 1977. He is a former Writer in Residence at the Southbank Centre and Poet in Residence at the BBC. He also played a key role in the 'Windrush' season of programmes in 1998. He won the Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry in 1997 and has travelled extensively throughout the world performing his poetry. His poetry collection We Brits (2006) was shortlisted for the 2007 British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year award, and The Young Inferno (2008), a poetic reworking of Dante's Inferno for young people, won the 2009 CLPE Poetry Award. His latest poetry collection is Travel Light and Travel Dark which will be launched at the festival.

Jean 'Binta' Breeze MBE (Jamaica)

Jean 'Binta' Breeze was born in Jamaica in 1957. This year she was awarded a special prize in Jamaica for her services to Jamaican arts, and in 2012, was a recipient of an MBE for services to literature. She studied at the Jamaican School of Drama with Michael Smith and Oku Onuora. Known as an exponent of the 'dub' poetry art form, she began to write and perform first in Kingston, then in London at the invitation of Linton Kwesi Johnson. She has performed her work throughout the world, touring in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, South East Asia and Africa. Her poetry collections include the books Ryddim. She is also the recipient of a NESTA Award. Her latest book is Third World Girl: selected poems.

Anthony Joseph (Trinidad/UK)

Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, musician and lecturer described as 'the leader of the black avant-garde in Britain'. His written work and performance occupies a space between surrealism, Jazz and the rhythms of Caribbean speech and music. He is the author of four poetry collections and a novel The African Origins of UFOs. In 2005 he was selected by the Arts Council of England and Renaissance One as one of 50 Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature. He is the recipient of an Arts Council of England award as well as an AHRC scholarship to complete his doctoral thesis; a fictional biography of the legendary Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Kitchener. Anthony has collaborated with a range of artists, including Archie Shepp, Joseph Bowie, Laurent Garnier, Othello Molineaux, Malcolm Catto, Mop Mop, Robert Aaron, Roger Raspail, Keziah Jones, Jerry Dammers and most recently Meshell Ndegeocello who produced his most recent album 'Time'. He lectures in creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London. "One of the most talented and engaging purveyors of the music right now" Mojo.

Sureshot (Barbados/UK)

Sureshot aka Michael Brome is a poet, rapper and music loving lyricist. He has performed widely including Camden Jazz Café, Jongleurs, Phoenix Arts Centre, De-Montfort Hall, Peepul Centre, Nottingham Playhouse and the Drum. In 2007 he was a contributing artist to the 'Freedom Showcase' a spoken word show for the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade cultural series. The same year he was a winner of a Spoken Word Commission in a project initiated by Baroness Lola Young in collaboration with renaissance one, resulting in a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. On Sunday 26 October he will present and perform a Sunday Sermon - a 'spoken word sermon' in the style of a preacher and offering poetry and oratory at its finest.

Malika Booker (Grenada/Guyana/UK)

Malika's book Pepper Seed published last year (Peepal Tree) was longlisted for the prestigious OCM Bocas 2014 prize. Booker was writer in residence at Hampton Court Palace, Commissioned Writer for the Wellcome Trust, inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and she was also the first British poet to be a Fellow at Cave Canem, the prestigious African American poetry body.

Women of Steel (Trinidad/UK)

Calypsonians Women of Steel is a sensational five-piece steel ensemble from the UK, an all female collective of steel pan soloists. Each member of the group contributes arrangements and compositions to the repertoire. Each woman specialises in a genre of music and the group is designed to be a platform for female arrangers and performers to showcase their ability.

Tobago Crusoe (Trinidad/UK)

Calypsonian and musician who has performed in the UK for many decades and is featured in the regular Kaiso Lime series at Carnival Village. He will be featured in the new Paddington Bear movie as one of the musicians in a street scene, in an ensemble arranged by Damon Albarn.

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