Fatimah Kelleher

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Writing from an early age, Fatimah Kelleher’s performance poetry career really began with the launch of the Urban Griots Open Floor Session in September 1997, of which she was a founding member and since then (next to pursuing her own performances) the main producer.
Introduced to the world of Soho poetry readings in 1996, she went on to discover the thrill of performing later that year in Atlanta, while completing an academic year abroad. It was in America that she first became aware of the cultural importance performance poetry was having on the ‘nineties generation, and became enamoured with the heady fusion of literary scholarship, hip-hop militancy and New Age spirituality that had started its journey in the spoken word hubs of Chicago and New York. Collaborating with friends who also wished to see this movement gain momentum in the multicultural and rich literary traditions found in London, Urban Griots made its debut in Brixton’s Bug Bar. Since then the event has gained a reputation as one of the finest underground spoken word venues in London. In addition to her commitment to providing an arena for upcoming poets and rappers, Fatimah performs at various open floor spots in London (Black Pepper, Soul Foud, Jazz Café, Farrago) and in the US. In the last two years she has been working with several musicians and bands, and music has become an important part of her repertoire. Fatimah’s rhythmic and floating pieces speak of today’s consumerist “logo-laden” madness, of the most intimate moments of sadness or inspiration, or celebrate collective creativity and expression. Kelleher won the 2000 Farrago’s Best Overall Performance Award.

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