Lambeth’s first Poet Laureate looks back – and forward

21 June 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

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Lambeth’s first Poet laureate, Abstract Benna, moves on with final thoughts on the role he created and a new poem to inspire other young creatives.


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Lambeth’s first Poet Laureate looks back – and forward

Abstract Benna, Lambeth’s first Poet Laureate, has written and performed a poem to inspire the borough’s creative community as a farewell to his year in office.

Natural choice

Raised and educated in Lambeth, Benna’s appointment as Poet Laureate was a natural choice. As an established Spoken Word Artist, he was a natural fit to take up the inaugural Poet Laureate position and has gone on to inspire everyone who has seen him perform or collaborated with him: from schoolchildren to young creatives, cultural organisations like Southbank Centre and The Brixton Project, to Lambeth staff and residents.

His passion for nurturing young talent and amplifying diverse voices aligns perfectly with Lambeth’s values of Ambition, Kindness, Equity, and Accountability.

Looking back on the Laureate year

 “I was inaugurated as Poet Laureate for Lambeth on October 27 2022. Imagine having the support and resources of the whole borough behind you as an artist.

“It’s been an insightful experience. I’ve written new poems and performed across the borough and for cultural networks, facilitated workshops in schools to share my experience on the power of art, and helped to champion Lambeth’s home-grown talent.

“The main thing I’ve learned is that art really does have the power to move culture and a big part of the role was sharing that insight, which is what inspired this poem and film.”

As a parting gift, Benna has one more poem to share, dedicated to the up-and-coming artists who will carry on his legacy of creativity and community. We thank him for his passion, creativity, and unwavering commitment to our shared vision for a brighter, more vibrant future.

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