Writer, Poet & Founder of Poetry Prescribed. Co-host and resident poet for Chocolate Poetry Club and partner of Mind Over Matter… how is that for talent and an introduction?! I give you the British / Ghanaian Queen repping South London – Miss Yankey.
I know how busy you are Sis, so I’m so giddy that I can finally shout you out! Lol
Let’s go! What age did you get into your chosen field?
I have always written poems, lyrics, and stories. I literally have books with poems that I wrote when I was 6 years old. I started sharing poems online about 10 years ago – but anonymously on a site called www.allpoetry.com. I read a massive range of poetry, and entered a few competitions, but it was more of a hobby than anything. Then in 2015 I decided to start submitting some of my work to other competitions and found myself being shortlisted for a national competition called Poetry Rivals. I was invited to the Royal Albert Hall to perform in the finals. It was my first ever time performing poetry on stage! That was in March 2016 and it was very much a case of straight into the frying pan and I haven’t looked back since.
That is incredible and hugely inspirational! Especially seeing your name here, there and everywhere at the moment! Clearly your journey is just going from strength to strength!
Why do you do the style you do?
To be fair I’m still working out what my style is – so it’s hard to answer that! I just do what comes naturally. Being on the open mic circuit has definitely inspired me though. I am always learning something new about performance.
I hear you! You’ve definitely become an inspiration to me though, in terms of how you remember so many poems so quickly and how you deliver them with such conviction and often times humour.
What or who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from so many sources; but if I had to narrow it down I would say music and nature. When I was a little girl I used to take the album sleeves out of CDs and copy out the lyrics of songs I liked. I’ve always been fascinated by rhyming schemes and storytelling, and to this day I find myself studying peoples bars. I also spend a lot of time outside, it keeps me grounded and gives me space to think. It’s not uncommon for me to walk for a couple of hours and record voice notes with concepts / ideas along the way.
Sounds very therapeutic to be honest. I might have to take a leaf out of your book during the summer and make the most of the outdoor vibe.
How did you come up with your creative name and what does it stand for?
Miss Yankey is literally my name! People often misspell it with an “ee” on the end, or ask if I’m American or something. In reality “Yankey” is a Fante name – it’s Ghanaian.
Learn something new everyday!
Which project are you most proud of & why?
Last year I launched Poetry Prescribed which is easily my greatest creative achievement to date. We provide therapeutic poetry workshops for various groups. I started the project with the primary aim of improving people’s mental health and wellbeing using poetry and creative writing- and to know that I have been able to do that is truly humbling. Since launching we have facilitated workshops for Southwark CAMHS, Mind, Birmingham City University, and The Royal College of Psychiatry to name a few. I am so excited about the future of the project! Please do take some time to find out more about us- www.poetryprescribed.com
I can vouch for Poetry Prescribed being a brilliant workshop. It has really helped me explore topics in a creative and safe environment as well as share and absorb others thoughts and experiences. I’d encourage anyone to attend, definitely! And I love the fact that not everyone that attends is a self confessed poet! Literally everyone and anyone is welcome. Just leave the bad vibes at the door!
So, I baited you up earlier as being super busy – I knooow you have some projects lined up! You able to share or is it a “wait and see” thing?
I am in the process of finalising my first book, “Project 33: Poetic Portals”. I’m working with an incredible illustrator and hope to release volume 1 at the end of the year. I will also continue to develop Poetry Prescribed – broadening our services and bringing poetry workshops to a wider audience.
Yaaassss girl! That is dope! Can’t wait to see this come to life! Ok so, let’s continue to blow this trumpet – drop a list of radio shows / exhibitions / big events you have been part of…
I co-host two popular poetry events- CPCfire (The Chocolate Poetry Club); and Mind Over Matter, where we discuss mental health through spoken word and hip hop. As a poet I have performed The Tate Modern Field Day, Leefest, Lambeth Country Show, Althorp Literary Festival and more. I was shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Artist at this years Saboteur Awards which is a huge achievement.
Queen! That is all! We know all about you as a fierce poet but how about YOU outside of that? Share a random or fun fact about you:
I am mother to 5 year old twins girls. I juggle my business around home schooling them. It’s pretty full on but hugely rewarding!
I don’t know how you do it but I respect you highly!
I know you are big on positive affirmations also so let’s wrap this up by spreading some love and good energy!
Small steps eventually lead to large strides – keep it moving!
So simple and so true! Sis, thank you so much!
Our #TalentTuesdays Star everyone!