Freak Speak

Welcome, you beautiful freak!


Psst... did you hear we're doing something for the first Peterborough Pride UK?

Check it by clicking here.


hi, we're freak speak


Peterborough's newest poetry & spoken word night, bringing you the best kind of punch-you-in-the-gut poetic talent from across the country. Freak Speak is a quarterly poetry night in Peterborough, funded by Arts Council England, and produced by me, Charley Genever, Peterborough Poet Laureate 2016. I have some great people helping make Freak Speak awesome; making the poets sound wicked we have the amazing Harry Carter of HJC Sounds, and documenting our 2016 Freak Speaks we have the incredible Rosie Cooper of rxc photography.

Freak Speak's primary aim is to provoke. By bringing the nation's best word-smiths to Peterborough, we aim to provoke people to pick up a pen and have a go at poetry things. We also give tadpole poets more opportunities to metamorphose into performance poet frogs, by offering paid support slots at each event, and a masterclass run by one of our headliners.

About Charley

As I mentioned, I have the honour of being able to call myself Peterborough Poet Laureate 2016. Aged 24, I'm the youngest poet to ever hold the title, which is pretty cool. 

I'm Peterborough born and raised and I hold a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University. After graduating, I returned to Peterborough where I was successfully selected onto the Emerge training programme. Since then it's been a whirlwind, I've worked with and performed for Cambridge Junction, Apples and Snakes, the Curve, the Green Festival, and the Roundhouse. I collaborated with The Poetry Society and Southbank Centre where I programmed National Poetry Day Live 2015 and also performed as part of the day (to a mega audience, including Phil Jupitus!) 

I've shared the stage and worked with the likes of John Hegley, Attila the Stockbroker, Ross Sutherland, Patience Agbabi, Joelle Taylor, Simon Mole, Mark Grist, Vanessa Kisuule, and Michael Symmons Roberts. I also regularly host open mic night ‘Pint of Poetry’, and I produce Freak Speak, but you knew about that.

As poet laureate I will be relentless. I will not stop until the mortar between each brick holds a metaphor; until the river ripples in stanzas; until every tongue in this city has tasted the air between it and the first reading of a new favourite poem. I'm available for commissions, workshops, performances, and all round poetryness. You can see examples of my work by clicking here.