Losing Touch | Free Word

26 November 2020

Presented by:
Bayan Goudarzpour


A night of poetry reintroducing ourselves to the concept of touch

At the start of lockdown physical contact became contentious. A heightened sense of awareness of who and what we were touching became a part of our collective consciousness. Touching became a concept; suddenly we felt through disposable rubber gloves, threw high fives at distance or waved through glass. 

As we continue to navigate the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, we’re also trying to work our way back into touching without fear. 

Losing Touch sees three poets explore the power of touch, share work written before lockdown and examine what their words mean to them now in the context of the pandemic. 

This live poetry event is curated by poet and editor Bayan Goudarzpour and will take place at Free Word with a limited socially distanced audience. The event will also be available to stream on Instagram (account required). 


Free Word’s new ticket pricing structure aims to honour the work of our artists whilst acknowledging the increased financial pressures our audiences may be experiencing. Simply choose the ticket price that is most accessible to you. We kindly ask that those in a position to purchase a full cost solidarity ticket do so. All Free Word ticket revenue goes directly back into our ongoing programming of under-represented writers, artists and activists.

26 November 2020
£10/£6/£3 in person / free live stream

Bayan Goudarzpour


Bayan Goudarzpour

Poet, Writer and Editor

Poet, writer and Barbican Young Poets alumni, Bayan has performed at various events including Heaux Noire, Tate Modern's Women in Art and Battersea Art's Centre Barely Lit Festival. She is currently completing her Master’s in poetry at Newcastle University and the poetry editor for Khidr Magazine. Although she should be writing her manuscript, she spends most of her time on Twitter trying to funny her way out of being poor and sad.

Michelle Tiwo

Multi-disciplinary Artist

Michelle Tiwo is a queer Nigerian/Togolese multi-disciplinary artist. A Barbican young poet alumni and co-founder of Sistren Collective, their work explores ancestral connections, youth culture, identity and religion, and what it means to be raised in Sarf East London. With work spanning across radio, poetry, theatre, film and music- there is no art form off-limits, when it comes to fully realising the perspective of this emo with a sunshine aura.

Ola Elhassan

Poet and Electrical Engineer

Ola Elhassan is a poet and electrical engineer. Her work centres community, womanhood, music, and Sudanese culture. She has read her work at The Roundhouse, WOW Global Festival and Ake Arts and Book Festival. Her most recent project “Chama” is a collaboration with artists in Brazil curated for Bienal Mercosul and her poem “الليله العديل و الزين” was published in the debut Project Sawti Zine, a literary project dedicated to connecting East African poets and artists.



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
  • The hearing loop will not be available for this event
  • If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them
  • A smoke/haze machine will be in use for this event
  • 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’d like earplugs, we will have a supply at the bar – just ask one of our team.

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


We have carried out COVID-secure risk assessments to ensure our venue is as safe as possible for audiences, performers and staff.

Before booking tickets for a live in-person event at Free Word please note:

  • All guests will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit unless they are consuming food and drink or medically exempt
  • Guests are kindly reminded that they will be required to maintain a 2 metre distance from those not within their booking group

Please ensure you have read Free Word’s full COVID-19 venue policy before attending your event.

The safety of our audiences, performers and staff is of paramount importance. Live in-person events at Free Word will take place subject to the satisfactory results of on-going risk assessments. In the event of cancellation of a live in-person event or a change in personal circumstances of the attendee, guests will be able to transfer to live stream tickets or obtain a full refund. Any difference in ticket price cost will also be credited.


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