Conversations with Baldwin at Arnolfini
Headfirst Editor's Pick

"Sell out warning! This is Baldwin as you’ve never seen him before – Words of Colour’s ‘Conversations With Baldwin’ festival comes to an unmissable close with a live cabaret mash-up of performances responding to the seminal 20th century author’s life, work and legacy."

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Pay What You Can - £6 / £8 / £10

A event held at Arnolfini on Saturday 21st October. The event starts at 19:30.

*This event is now sold out. Follow @rtbspokenword and @wordsofcolour to find out about future shows*

Raise the Bar and Words of Colour are teaming up to bring you Conversations with Baldwin: LIVE - a cabaret of Poetry, Dance and Drag celebrating 20th-century author James Baldwin.

This is a seated event. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Raymond Antrobus
Saili Katebe
Muneera Pilgrim
Deepraj Singh
Mariana Trench
DJ Ngaio

Tickets are Pay What You Can:
£6 - unwaged/low-income/student
£8 - general admission
£10 - lucky you! You're comfortable enough to pay a little extra to pitch in for someone else - cheers mate!

October 21st 2023
7:00pm doors | 7:30pm start
10:00pm finish

Hashtag: #ConversationswithBaldwin

This event is BSL interpreted. This is a seated event. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Further accessibility information can be found on Arnolfini's website:

Conversations with Baldwin: LIVE is the final event in the Conversations with Baldwin festival. Conversations with Baldwin explores the life and work of 20th-century author and activist James Baldwin and is supported by using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Raymond Antrobus is a poet, writer and broadcaster. He was born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He’s a Cave Canem Graduate and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature. He is the author of 'To Sweeten Bitter' (UK, Out-Spoken Press), ‘The Perseverance’ (UK, Penned In The Margins / US, Tin House) and ‘All The Names Given’ (US, Tin House / UK, Picador) as well as children’s picture book ‘Can Bears Ski?’ (UK, Walker Books / US, Candlewick). He is the 2019 recipient of the Ted Hughes Award as well as the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award, and became the first poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize. His first full-length collection, ‘The Perseverance’ was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and The Forward Prize, ‘All The Names Given’ was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize and the Costa Award. Also in 2021 his poems were added to the UK’s ‘GCSE’ syllabus.

Raise the Bar is the South West's leading live poetry night, showcasing the very best of UK poetry and spoken word since 2014.

‘From top to bottom, one of my all time favourite shows’ – Shane Koyczan

'One of the best poetry nights in the country' – Rafeef Ziadah

'Out-loud reactions are encouraged…shaking off traditional theatre etiquette' – Bristol 24/7


Our events aim to be as safe, inclusive, accessible and welcoming as possible.
The venue is wheelchair accessible, and has accessible toilets. Feel free to email us if you'd like to reserve any seating. [email protected]

If you have any particular access requirements or concerns, please email in advance.

The event may include photography and videography.


Doors open at 7:00pm, and the show begins at 7:30pm. Please arrive and be seated promptly for the start of the event. Latecomers will be admitted through the back entrance (upstairs). The event includes a 20 minute interval, and will be finished by 10:00pm.


Poetry events include performers sharing personal accounts which you may relate to in some way. This may include content that is potentially upsetting or triggering. We provide a general content warning at the beginning of each event, and we encourage feature artists to provide content warnings for individual poems where necessary. Attendees are welcome to leave the venue at any time if necessary, and return when they feel comfortable, but please try to do this before/after a poem.


Raise the Bar has a zero tolerance policy towards hate, discrimination and abuse of any kind. Our staff team will work together to ensure the space is respectful and welcoming at all times. Please alert a member of staff during the event if you are experiencing any issues, or feel free to email us afterwards.