Meraki is a Greek concept that can't really be translated into one English word. When a person does something with their entire being, and puts something of themselves in what they do; that is Meraki at work. Be it writing, singing or performance poetry, be it even the smallest task; if you do it with your whole being, you do it with Meraki.
We found this concept to be one we should try and inculcate into our daily lives, and thus decided to theme our event around it.
Meraki marked the third consecutively running end of year event for Poetical Word, after Ubuntu in 2016 and Eunoia in 2015. The end of year celebration took place at the Hounslow Youth Centre.
With a theatre-esque stage, sofas and bean bag lounge area, the ambiance was reflected throughout the audience, our magnificent guest performers and of course, our gracious host. The audience boasted our esteemed Councillor Mukesh Malhotra, who presented four special awards to individuals who had embodied the concept of Meraki and made a significant contribution to the work Poetical Word has been engaged in throughout the year.
Among awardees were Solomon Adams, who has been instrumental in providing and maintaining an epic audio setup at our monthly events. Manjinder Chirajh who has developed his exceptional craft of spoken word throughout the year. Our outgoing host, Asiya Egady, who has been a part of the Poetical Word foundation for over two years and has carried us through with exquisite compering. Last but not least, Mindy Sidhu, the project manager for Xmas Gifts 4 All this year.
One of our most important achievement this year was our community engagement project Xmas Gifts 4 All, which was launched in 2015 and has been growing from strength to strength over the years. 2017 marked a milestone for the project which saw 110 homeless essential packs distributed in London along side S.W.A.T. (Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team), 26 children in West Middlesex Hospital received personalised Christmas cards and gifts as well as 46 older people at Care UK's Charlotte House in Isleworth receiving the same and a poetry showcase accompanied by cake! You can watch the video here.
Meraki showcased some of our headliners throughout 2017 as well as some regular open mic performers and special guests. We had the event topped off with the legend Usaama Minhas himself (Hammer and Tongue National Grand Slam Champion 2018).
When we do something with our entire being, we find in it a joy that we at Poetical Word know only how to express, through the spoken word. It was a privilege to have the support of Hounslow Youth Centre, Councillor Mukesh Malhotra and every attendee at Meraki, joining together in poetic celebration.
We look forward to welcoming 2018 and what it brings. Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean. If you'd like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the Contact Us tab!