A Warning To The House (That Holds Me) | Free Word

5 December 2019
19:00 21:00-

Presented by:
Free Word


Readings and performances for the launch of Amina Jama’s debut poetry collection

Join us for the launch of Somali-British writer Amina Jama’s debut poetry collection, exploring the legacy of poetry and art, and the ways we are influenced by the voices that have come before us.

Edited by Jacob Sam-La Rose and published by Flipped Eye, A Warning To The House That Holds Me responds to the work of Safia Ehillio, Hanif Abdurraqib, Ocean Vuong, Caroline Bird and most prominently Frida Kahlo. Amina Jama draws on experiences of home, autonomy and passage, writing in conversation with Kahlo and exploring the varied and unusual spaces some call home.

The night will feature readings and support from some of the freshest, most exciting voices in the UK poetry and performance scene including poets Ola Elhassan, Amaal Said, Sumia Jaama, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Hibaq Osman and musician Dulaeh Oke. The night will be hosted by poet and visual artist Ruth Sutoyé.

Amina Jama is also the artist behind Somalinimo (till I dhimo), a new installation that transforms Free Word’s cafe space into a migrant Somali living room. She has previously been commissioned by the BBC, Nationwide, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and the London Mayor’s Office.



Season branding: THREAD Design | Photography: Myah Jeffers

5 December 2019
19:00 - 21:00
£6 / £5 (30 & under)

Free Word


Amina Jama


Amina Jama is a Somali-British writer. An alumna of Barbican Young Poets, member of Octavia Poetry Collective, co-host of Boxedin, Amina has completed residencies and performed internationally with Speaking Volumes. Her work often explores displacement, dual cultural identity and family and has been published in numerous anthologies, as well as shortlisted for the Outspoken 2018 Poetry Prize.

Ola Elhassan

Poet and Engineer

Ola Elhassan is a Sudanese poet and electrical engineer. She grew up between Denmark and Sudan, and currently resides in London. She has been calling herself a poet for just over a year, during which she has performed at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch alongside Nick Makoha, Kevin Coval and Safia Elhillo at their Break Beat tour of 2018, as well as many open-mic nights in London. She recently completed the 7-week writing programme for Sudanese Femmes “Azza Fi Hawak” facilitated by Safia Elhillo and Nehal El-Hadi.

Amaal Said

Poet and Photographer

Amaal Said is a Danish-born Somali photographer, and poet, based in London. Her photographs have been featured in Vogue, The Guardian and The New York Times. She is concerned with storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. She won Wasafiri Magazine’s New Writing Prize for poetry in 2015. In 2017, she was exhibited in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, her photography was featured in the fourth volume of African Lens and was exhibited in Accra, Ghana. She is a member of Octavia, poetry collective for womxn of colour, and is a former Barbican Young Poet.

Sumia Jaama

Poet, Educator and Coder

Sumia Jaama/Juxun is a poet, educator and coder. Winner of FourHubs’ 2018 Poetry Prize, she is a Barbican Young Poet Alumni and a recent graduate of the Creative Writing and Education MA at Goldsmith. She is the Co-founder of ‘Sawti’ – an International East African Literature project supported by the British Council. She has been commissioned and performed at numerous venues including the Royal Academy of Arts, Keats House Museum, Southbank Centre and Barbican Centre.

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

Writer, Poet and Educator

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a published writer, spoken-word poet and educator. She has a BA in History and MA in Postcolonial Studies, and performs and speaks nationally and internationally interrogating narratives to do with gender, race, Islamophobia, state violence and history. Suhaiymah presents the 'Breaking Binaries' podcast and has recently published 'Postcolonial Banter' with Verve Poetry Press. She has been featured in The Independent, BBC, ITV, Sky TV, The Guardian, The Islam Channel, TEDx conferences, music festivals, US slams and UK universities. She is a Roundhouse fellow for 2018.

Hibaq Osman


Hibaq Osman is a Somali writer born and based in London. Her work centres largely around women, identity and the healing process. Her debut poetry pamphlet A Silence You Can Carry was published with Out-Spoken Press in 2015. This year, Hibaq released a small online chapbook titled 'the heart is a smashed bulb' which you can now find online.

Dulaeh Oke


Dulaeh Oke is a Dutch-Somali Alternative-Hip-Hop artist from East London. His eccentric sound along with his introspective songwriting, makes him a standout figure in London's emerging underground scene. He introduced himself in 2017 with his first release "Famous", shortly followed up by singles "Mood" and "Change". In 2019 Dualeh released his debut Mixtape Oke's Odyssey a tale about the steep come down Oke faced returning home to his Somali parents after the intense highs of University.

Ruth Sutoyé

Poet and Visual Artist

Ruth Sutoyé is a poet, facilitator, creative producer and visual artist from East London. She is a Barbican Young Poet alumni, member of the SXWKS collective and co-producer of the film and photography exhibition Bald Black Girl(s). Her work has been featured within several publications and platforms including Opus, True Africa, Bad Betty Press and The Cob Gallery. She has performed across the UK and abroad, gracing stages including Roundhouse, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Lagos International Poetry Festival. Ruth often explores intimacy and loss, particularly within inter-generational/familial relationships. Through all her disciplines, Ruth employs an archival approach to her work, centred on storytelling.



There is step-free access to all areas of Free Word and a number of other facilities available to make the venue accessible. 

  • Our box office, theatre and hall are all on the ground floor with step-free access from the street
  • Meeting rooms and offices are accessible by lift from the ground floor
  • There are two accessible toilets on the ground floor. All our toilets are individual, gender neutral cubicles
  • Hearing loops are available at the box office and the theatre (when set up theatre style) and in all meeting rooms
  • The foyer and café areas are our designated quiet spaces – if you need to leave the event at any time, you’re welcome to use these areas
  • If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them

Please talk to our team if you have specific access requirements.