HomePast work National Poetry Day (One of me stood up)

Date: Oct 2016
Commission partner: BBC
Description: Keisha was picked to represent in Manchester by writing about a building in the city that had sentimental value for her.


For Those Of You Who Don’t Know My Name Is Nello James is about the community centre in Whalley Range which used to be the heart of the community but is now a derelict building.

I am what complacency looks like – a legacy receded.

communal pride has pulled its hamstring so I’m stood

here greying. they named me after him – C.L.R James

a man who showed strength at the hardest of times

in my prime there was a nursery in my belly, circus

lessons on my back, Abasindi drumming on my chest

families parties, knitting… but it is all so quiet now.

call my maintenance graffiti. call my rot a compliment

let me show you my squatter. fly-tip me for my services

to the community. those placards? call them my visitors

out on the streets fighting for me. call it Black Jacobin

and if you don’t know get opposable. this is the age of

the knowing.

it’s all so quiet now. less sirens. less cyclists singing. less

children skipping. less neighbours chit-chattering. we all

know too much. so much that we don’t need to speak so

much that we don’t need to name our buildings after

heroes. we can just Google them as we please