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Chelping @ The Leeds Library – featuring Khadijah Ibrahiim

by The Leeds Library


Join us in person in the stunning surrounds of the Leeds Library on National Poetry Day for Chelping starring Khadijah Ibrahiim and Haris Ahmed plus open mic hosted by Matt Abbott.

One of Leeds’ leading poetry nights ‘Chelping’ returns to the stunning 253-year-old Leeds Library! After the pandemic enforced a hiatus, we return for our 13th event on National Poetry Day 2021. Previous headliners have included internationally-renowned performers including Joelle Taylor, Sabrina Mahfouz, Anthony Anaxagorou, and Theresa Lola. We’ve also had nationally-renowned poets including Cecilia Knapp, Jess Green, and Toby Campion.


Khadijah Ibrahiim is of Jamaican parentage, born in the city of Leeds. Educated at the University of Leeds; she has a MA in Theatre Studies. She is the Artistic Director of Leeds Young Authors and the Producer of Leeds Youth Poetry Slam festival. Peepal Tree press published her poetry collection Rootz Runnin in 2008 that same year she toured the USA with the Fwords Creative Freedom writers. As a delegate for the Art Council England (Yorkshire) she attended Calabash International Literature Festival in Jamaica. She became one of the first international writers to attend the El Gouna Writers Residency in Egypt, 2010.

She was a member of the advisory group that organised some of the events, which marked the visit of Dr. Nelson Mandela to the City of Leeds. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s ‘most prolific’ poets by BBC Radio, she continues to make various stage appearances across Britain, the USA, the Caribbean, and Africa. Peepal Tree Press also published her latest collection of poems, Another Crossing.


Haris Ahmed is a rapidly emerging spoken word artist. A natural storyteller with his roots firmly in Bradford, he’s brought his authentic voice to collaborative cultural projects with national and international arts organisations including Common Wealth Theatre Company, Emergency Exit Arts, and The Brick Box. As a poet, Haris has performed on stages across the country from major theatres to small independent venues and even national museums. He also featured on BBC Three’s ‘School of Hard Tricks’, making his TV debut by learning to perform magic as one of six apprentice magicians.

Haris’ first poetry collection ‘isit’, is due to be released, following a successful crowdfunding campaign, and his work has also been published in a number of anthologies and collections.


We have five open mic opportunities available on a first-come, first-served basis. These slots are limited to 3 minutes each. Please reserve by emailing Matt at eyup@mattabbottpoet.com. We encourage performers of all levels of ability and experience.


Matt Abbott is a poet, educator, and activist from Wakfield. His debut solo spoken word show ‘Two Little Ducks’ earned 5* at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and also on a 2018 UK theatre tour. The show’s poems were published by Verve in 2018. Matt’s debut kids’ poetry collection ‘A Hurricane in my Head’ was published by Bloomsbury in 2019 and a Selected Title for National Poetry Day.

Matt runs Nymphs & Thugs – the UK’s leading spoken word record label – and fronts indie band Skint & Demoralised. Notable commissions include Nationwide Building Society TV ads, Leeds United’s centenary kit launch, Cancer Research UK, and Eureka! The National Children’s Museum.

Don’t miss this! Tickets are £5. Book on the link.

Date and Time

Thu, October 7, 2021

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


The Leeds Library

18 Commercial Street
Leeds, England LS1 6AL United Kingdom

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