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Sheffield’s first hip-hop poet laureate: 'gone are the days of tradition'

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The poet appointed by lord mayor Magid Magid to champion creative arts wants to change the face of poetry

People too often think of poetry as posh and white: “the picture of snobbery,” says Otis Mensah. But at just 23-years-old, the self-described working class radical hip-hop artist and storyteller was last month given the title of Sheffield’s first poet in residence. As the first hip hop artist to be awarded a poet laureate title in the UK, he wants to use the position to “break down barriers”, smash the stuffy stereotype, and remind people that poetry is meant to be “for the people”.

Related: Magid Magid, Sheffield’s lord mayor: ‘I’ve had a lot of stick, but I don’t care’

Related: Colleges exaggerating arts students' career prospects, says Ofsted chief

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