the foundations of oppression can't be plucked up without the anger of a multitude


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  • Poetry and Performance

Performing poetry since 2002, Sam Berkson has toured the UK and performed at festivals from Latitude, to Edinburgh, to Hay-on-Wye, Secret Garden Party and Bestival and at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, The Photographer’s Gallery and the Royal Albert Hall. He was the UK representative at the European Lyd plus Litteratur Festival of literature and music in Aarhus, Denmark, visiting poet at the MacKewen University in Edmonton, Canada and performed in Hungary, Greece and The Foam Gallery, Amsterdam. He performs under the stage name, Angry Sam.

His debut collection, ‘Life in Transit’ was published by Influx Press in 2012. He followed this with a book of original and translated poems from his time on the Western Saharan refugee camps in Algeria, ‘Settled Wanderers’, also published by Influx in 2015. Living in North-East London since 2009, some of his poems from that area were published by Fishbar Gallery in a pamphlet of poems, ‘Dusk Steals the Daylight’. He also wrote the text for award-winning photobook, ‘Dalston Anatomy’ and has had poems published in various anthologies.

  • Promotion

Sam has been organising, running and hosting live poetry nights since 2005. He currently coordinates the Hackney branch of UK performance poetry network, Hammer and Tongue.

  • Education

Sam is a qualified teacher with many years’ experience in secondary schools in three different cities.

Sam Christian and Abena, Little Ilford

Create & Debate workshop in Newham

He runs poetry workshops for adults and young people in a variety of different settings, including schools, both primary and secondary, libraries and community festival. Alongside rapper, Reload, and with the archive assistance of the Institute of Race Relations, he has combined anti-racist education and poetry in the Create and Debate Project

He aims to “engage people with poetry as a verbal art form made of sound and rhythm and free them up to create their own.”

“Year 9s … are won over by his conviction and clarity, and soon become mesmerised.” The Guardian

If you wish to book Sam for workshops or performances please get in touch via the contact page.

  • Press and Quotes

Angry Sam featured in The Guardian Education 2011

Angry Sam interviewed in The Hackney Citizen 2012

Angry Sam’s poem in Hackney Citizen review of anthology ‘Acquired for Development By…’ 2012

“Angry Sam kills the crowd softly with rare wit and a laidback style that softens the knife wounds left by his acid political poetics and searing urban imagery.” – Martin Daws, Poetica

“‘Angry’ Sam Berkson was another highlight; his poems of urban sprawl blend streams of colloquialisms with a simple elegance. His poems push your perceptions of both places and people, doing what all truly excellent poetry should do: make you see the world in a different light” – Sabotage

Angry Sam’s poetry led our audience through an urban landscape populated with an array of characters who were sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartwrenching, but always totally entertaining. Definitely a poet worth seeing.” – Sophie McKeand, The Absurd

“Sam Berkson’s poetry captures the moving margins of Hackney gentrification” – The Hackney Citizen

Sam’s poetry is warm, honest and well crafted. He is a poet in truest sense of the word.’ – Kae Tempest, poet.

‘By turns lyrical, acerbic and bitingly humourous, Berkson’s poems describe a world … where our lives can still be transformed by unexpected encounters with others, and where the shadow of another world – collective, egalitarian, democratic – can sometimes be glimpsed.Mark Fisher, cultural theorist.

Written by angrysampoetry

August 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hello, would just like to leave a comment to say how nice it is to see someone doing something of their own on wordpress as opposed to talking about anorexia or animals or shitty tv programmes. As a budding poet myself (not a very good one at that) it’s really interesting to read the poetry of others. Thankyou for your light, sorry for my excessive comment,
    -Let us Hackneytopions stick together in times of grief.


    January 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    • Thanks Willow – the encouragement is appreciated and hopefully see you down at a poetry gig in Hackney soon.


      January 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

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