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Wordlife audience
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About the project

Wordlife started as a live literature event in Sheffield in 2006 founded by Joe Kriss, Kayo Chingonyi and Katie Kapur and developed into a programme across Yorkshire and beyond, including events, publications and bespoke projects designed to bring new audiences to literature.


Wordlife joined Opus in 2008 and has run events in Sheffield, Bradford, London, Manchester and Hull. Our events have featured poets such as Roger McGough, Salena Godden, Hollie McNish, Lemn Sissay, Buddy Wakefield, Helen Mort, Genevieve Carver, Gav Roberts, Stan Skinny, Tom Juniper and many more.


Wordlife has also delivered large scale projection film projects, projecting bespoke commissioned work onto Weston Park Museum, Upper Chapel, CAST in Doncaster and The Deep in Hull as well as experimenting with a mixed reality app that explores how video content can interact with printed graphics in three special editions of Now Then Magazine. 


Wordlife took a break from delivering work in 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to say that Wordlife has now become the home for Sheffield’s Reading Room, as part of The Reading Room network run in collaboration with independent publisher Pluto Press.

The Reading Room Network is a group of activists that run book events across the UK with Pluto Press authors, funded by long time supporters of Opus, SHED. Our first event launched in March 2024 to support a book tour by Sophie K Rosa called 'Radical Intimacy'. 


The organisations involved share a common goal – to support and empower people within their communities. The Reading Room opens up forums to debate local issues that affect everyday lives. Taking the lead from our communities, these topics include inequality, the environment, precarious employment, LGBTQ+ issues, structural racism and much more.

People working on this project

Joe Kriss, Phia Davenport

Funded by

SHED / Necessity

Partner orgs

Pluto Press, Left Book Club

Get involved

Latest update

Latest updates

We also hosted an event with Jackie Kay on 23 May as part of the Festival of Debate programme, focused around her most recent collection May Day.

23 May 2024

As part of the Festival of Debate, we hosted a sold out event on 18 April at the Leadmill featuring Hollie McNish, supported by Gevi Carver.

18 April 2024

Our first Wordlife event this year was focused around Radical Intimacy by Sophie K Rosa, with a performance from spoken word poet Joelle Taylor, and guest speakers from Compassionate Sheffield and Brambles Co-op.

13 March 2024

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