ONE of the UK’s most popular performance poets will become Liverpool’s latest Citizen of Honour on Wednesday 22 February.
Levi Tafari is being presented with the honour at Liverpool Town Hall by Lord Mayor, Cllr Roy Gladden.
The 62 year-old was raised in Liverpool by his Jamaican parents, and studied classical French cuisine and graduated with distinction from catering college.
However, whilst working in catering, he began attending the Liverpool 8 Writers Workshop and eventually left catering to become a writer and performer.
Levi has worked locally, nationally and internationally, from Africa to the Caribbean and Europe to America.
He has had four collections of poetry published, and his plays performed at the Unity, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool, and The Blackheath Theatre in Stafford.
His musical projects include working with Ghanaian drum and dance ensemble Delado, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and his own reggae fusion band, Ministry of Love. He has also played with and toured with Urban Strawberry Lunch in the UK, Europe and the Far East and worked with jazz musician Dennis Rollins.
He was writer in residence at Charles University in Prague and toured the Czech Republic, Singapore, China and Jordan – and performed in New York and Poetry Expo in Kingston Jamaica.
Levi also works in education, running creative writing workshops in schools, colleges, universities, youth centres, prisons and libraries.
The ceremony will feature performances by Amina Atiq and Blue Saint – two artists that Levi has mentored.
Levi Tafari said:
“I am really and truly honoured and humbled to accept the award of Citizen of Honour for the City of Liverpool.
“I would like to send a massive thank you to Mayor Joanne Anderson for nominating me for this honour, and all the Councillors who voted for me.
“I would like to dedicate it to my family, friends and colleagues for their love and support over the years.”
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Roy Gladden, said:
“Citizen of Honour gives us a chance to acknowledge the dedication that people give to our city, and the talents and skills that make our communities better places.
“Levi is not just an incredibly talented poet, but also gives up a huge amount of time to share his passion with others and encourage them to express themselves.
“He is a fantastic role model and ambassador for Liverpool and I am delighted to be awarding him Citizen of Honour.”