Sky Hawkins – CV




Telephone:                             07788 650481





Sky Hawkins – The Word Bird


Sky Hawkins, also known as The Word Bird, is considered one of the North East’s top performance poets. She has headlined events across the North East, won numerous slams, and has led cross-platform collaborations with other artists.


Sky has been facilitating and teaching creative writing programmes for diverse groups and audiences since 2010. Over a varied career she has developed specialisms in youth and community practice, and even worked as a life model.


Sky is committed to encouraging others to have their voices heard. She considers it essential that young people and vulnerable adults are listened to, and uses her skills to nurture the performer and poet in all of them. Her experience of life in the care system, and the challenges of being a single parent, inform her work and place her in a unique position of empathy and understanding. 


Sky is qualified to work with children, young people and communities. She is Arts Award Trained, and was selected as The English National Youth Arts Network North East Regional Youth Arts Champion in 2010.

Sky has also been published with Northern Correspondent, The Black Light Engine Room Press, and Julia Darling –Diamond Twigs




Major qualifications


BA (hons)               Community and Youth Work Studies                               Sunderland University (2008)

HND                        Theatre/Media Studies                                                       Newcastle College (1996)


Other relevant training and qualifications

Arts Award Discovery Training                                                                         Arts Award (2018)

Child sexual exploitation                                                                                   Virtual College (2017)

Equality and diversity                                                                                         Virtual College (2017)

Safe guarding refresher                                                                                     Virtual College (2017)

Awareness of child abuse and neglect                                                            Virtual college (2017)

Arts Award Bronze & Silver Adviser Training                                                  Arts Award (2014)

Running Writing Workshops In Prisons                                                           Apples and Snakes (2012)

Writing for Health Workshops                                                                          Pen and Tonic (2010)

Delivering Poetry And Performance Workshops                                           Apples and Snakes (2010)

Supporting children with low self-esteem                                                      Barnardo’s Pyramid Project (2010)

Certificate in Child Protection Awareness                                                      (2009)

Certificate in Professional Boundaries                                                            (2009)

Developing Presentation Skills                                                                          Association Part-Time Tutors (2007)

Train The Trainer                                                                                                 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (2005)

Leadership In The Community                                                                           Mobex (2002)

Basic Youth & Community                                                                                  Newcastle City Council (2001)



Selected workshop and facilitation experience


Jan- March 2019               Commissioned by NWN to deliver writing workshops to Yr 7 and 8 and an extra

                                             curriculum group of young people from the ‘care system’ . NWN are so pleased

                                             with the work produced so far they are employing Sky for the next term.


Sept- Dec 2018                  Writing and performance workshops working in collaboration with Risedale Sports 

                                              and community college and Parents4Parents in North Yorkshire

                                              Commissioned to designing and delivering 24 workshops that allow parents and 

                                              young people to share their most important experiences of family life. There will

                                              be a booklet producec and public performance where both groups come together to

                                              share their stories       


August 2018                         Delivered two performance workshops for adults with mental health at North                                                                                     

                                                Tyneside Art Studio, because these sessions were so successful in building the

                                                Confidence in all the participants, further workshops have been booked.


March – July 2018               Designed and delivered weekly poetry workshops to improve literacy skills with                                            

                                               (EAT- English as an additional language) students at Excelsior Academy.



Jan 2017 – Feb 2018           Writing and performance workshops which includes 40hrs of community

                                                development work for Parents4Parents in North Yorkshire

                                                Commissioned to designing and delivering 12 workshops that explore parenting

                                                In challenging circumstances .The project will be documented through film and

                                                a public performance



Sep 2016 – Feb 2017          Cuckoo Young Writers group leader for New Writing North

                                               Designing and delivering weekly creative writing workshops with an ‘end of term’

                                               outcome; publication and performance


June 2016                             Delivered performance workshops for at Alnwick primary school

                                               Supported students with their performance for The Spirit of Soweto event at

                                              The Stanza, North Shields


Dec 2015 -ongoing             Co-host Scratch Tyne once a month for Apples and snakes with Rowan McCabe

                                               Design and deliver workshops to enhance participant’s performance skills

                                               A regular at scratch (Tony Gadd) stated ‘Scratch is the place to go. The passion that

                                              these guys show in their performance on stage is transferred to a great platform for

                                              everyone to learn’



Oct-Nov 2015                      Workshop leader for Apples And Snakes (Picture the Poet exhibition)

                                                Mentored and supervised a shadow poet ( Asa.J.Maddison)

                                                Commissioned to design and deliver six writing workshops exploring self- identity            

                                            with 2nd year drama students at Sunderland college. 13 young people went on to perform their poems for the first time on a stage alongside Lemn Sissay and Kate Fox. This is the largest group that has performed in the five years this project has been running                                           


January-March 2015           Workshop Programme Leader at Furrowfield School, Gateshead            

Designed and delivered 6 writing and personal development sessions with a group of young women. In the evaluation the young women stated they realised now that writing could be fun. The support worker stated that they wrote more in my sessions than in other classes.


December 2014                   One-to-One Arts Therapy Facilitator at Swallwell Primary School, Gateshead

Designed and delivered brief intervention programme of 3 sessions to 4 children, to tackle anger management issues.


November 2014                   Workshop Leader at Swallwell Primary School, Gateshead

Designed and delivered 2 day poetry workshop, preparing children to perform to parents and peers in special event on day 2.


May 2014                              Workshop Facilitator for Apples and Snakes

Commissioned to design and deliver workshop at Scratch Tyne, Newcastle.


April 2014                             Workshop Facilitator for Gateshead Young Women’s Project

Commissioned to design and deliver workshop for vulnerable young women at project event, and perform a 20minute poetry set.


January-March 2014           Workshop Programme Leader/Arts Adviser at The Place, South Shields

Supported 10 young people to gain their Bronze Arts Award, mentored/coached 2 young people in arts practice, lead and supported programme of workshops for participants, designed and delivered workshops on urban art/performance poetry.


January 2014                        Funded by The Place to become Arts Award trained


Sept-Nov 2013                    Tutor at Crisis Skylight, Newcastle

Design and deliver 12 creative writing sessions for homeless participants at Crisis project.


March-May 2013                 Arts Worker/Facilitator at The Place, South Shields

Designed and delivered 6 week programme in poetry to young people living in care, supporting 7 participants to engage in spoken word performance.


May 2013                              Workshop Facilitator at Nest Cafe

Designed and delivered writing workshop, and performed one hour show at Barnard castle Nest Cafe.


April 2013- Dec 2015         Arts Worker/Facilitator at Newcastle And Gateshead Arts Studios (NAGAS)

Delivering weekly writing workshops for participants with mental health issues, developing self-esteem and confidence. –stated by manager the” most popular” workshop with NAGAS service users.       



January 2013                       Judged poetry slam at Long Benton High School organised by Radikal Words 


December 2012                   Workshop Facilitator for Apples and Snakes

Commissioned to design and deliver workshop, and host performance night at Scratch Tyne, Newcastle.


November 2012                   Workshop Facilitator for City of Sunderland Libraries

Facilitated full day of activated for writing and performing poetry, for 60 children from two schools in Sunderland.


May-July 2012                      Workshop Leader for GAP Project at Changing Lives (formerly The Cyrenians)

Designed and facilitated eight writing for health workshops, for young women who had been or still were involved in drugs and prostitution.


February-June 2012            Shadow Poet at Shake The Dust, Apples and Snakes

Shadowed Andy Willoughby for North East for Shake the Dust 2012, a national poetry project for young people funded by Arts Council England. Included designing and delivering workshops for participants.


June 2012                              Assistant Workshop Facilitator at Radikal Words

Shadowed Jeff Price for two half day poetry and performance workshops at Walkergate Primary School.


November 2011                  Workshop Leader at Peterbrough Council                    

Designed, delivered and hosted day long poetry workshop and performance, for school leaver’s attending college with no previous qualifications, enabling young people to perform on stage who had no previous experience.


October 2011                      Workshop Facilitator at Cranlea Care Home, Newcastle

One-to-one research and poetry writing workshop for ageing adults, including performance of their poems in pantoum format.


August 2011                         Workshop Facilitator for National Trust

Facilitated an afternoon drop-in session at Seaton Delaval Hall designed to engage young people in spoken word.      


August 2011                         Workshop Leader at Heaton Arts Festival

Designed and led a workshop for families at Heaton Arts Festival. As direct result of this workshop several people performed their work at the festival, including one young woman who performed on the Comedy Stage.    


July 2011                               Workshop Facilitator for City of Sunderland Libraries

Facilitated poetry workshop and performance for young people as part of My Voice project funded by Reading Agency, who used my biography to illustrate that anyone can participate in spoken word. 


May 2011                              Workshop Facilitator for Hexham Book Festival

Designed and led a Poetry Games workshop for children up to 8 years old, encouraging them to engage with poetry and performance.




March 2011                          Workshop Leader at Newcastle Central Library

Alongside PJ Buchanan, designed and led poetry and performance workshop for International Women's Day at Newcastle Central Library, funded by Apples and Snakes. As a result of the workshop participants gained sufficient confidence to perform their work.              


September 2010                 Workshop Facilitator for Radikal Words

Led one day poetry and performance workshop concluding in a rap contest, at Peterlee Primary School.               


February-July 2010             Workshop Programme Leader for Word Cup, Apples and Snakes

Led a 10week programme of workshops and coaching for a group of 16 year olds from Education Other Than At School in Ashington, to prepare for a poetry slam…which they won.


May 2007                              Workshop facilitator at Walkergate High School

Led 2 half day workshops on the topic of overcoming adversity using poetry as a tool. As a result a young person who was a victim of bullying wrote a poem on the topic of bullying.



Selected performance experience


 Oct 2018                       National Poetry day nexus take over


        2018                            Slam winner at Born-Lippy


May 2017                            Headlined at Babble-gum


June 2017                            Participated in a pro poetry demonstration Slam organised by Kate Fox at the Word 

                                              (paid by South Tyneside Council ) 


2018                                    Updating in progress


February 2017                    North Contestant at the Verve festival dice slam (paid by Apples and snakes) 


November 2016                 Special guest performer for The Great Northern slam at Northern stage (paid by

                                              Radikal Word)


June 2016                            Performed at Live theatre for Julia Darling –Diamond Twigs event 


March 2016                         Headliner for Poetry Jam


January 2016                       Runner-up in Slamagate  , hosted by Jibba Jabba and Radikal words


October 2015                      Hosted Jibba Jabba



November 2014                   Headliner for Jibba Jabba (Newcastle)


October 2014                       Seeing Voices collaborative art performance piece based on my poems about experiences as a life model and woman (Newcastle)


August 2014                         Performed Jibba Jabba (Free Fringe, Edinburgh)


August 2014                         Performance for Black Light Engine Room Press (Middlesbrough)


July 2014                               Headliner for Lowlights  


April 2014                              Runner up in the Anti- Slam


February 2014                     Headliner for Alphabetti Spaghetti Soup (Dog and Parrot, Newcastle)


February 2014                      Support act for Robert Auton


January 2014                       Headliner for Hot Words (Chillingham Arms, Newcastle)


October 2013                       Headliner for poetry jam Durham


June 2013                              Won a slam at Durham university


August 2012                         Made a poetry film with ‘Read our Lips ’workshop. It was showcased at a London event. Both events organised by Apples and Snakes


July 2012                               Performing at Middlesbrough Tees Scratch club. Funded by Apples and Snakes


June 2012                              Performed at Gay Pride Festival, Exhibition Park.  Paid Funded by


October 2011                      Selected by Apples and Snakes to perform at Durham Book Festival, Live Theatre Newcastle and ARC Stockton as part of Amuse Bouche, alongside five other poets.


June 2011                             Made a poetry film with ‘Read our Lips ’workshop. It was showcased at a London event, as the best filmed made from the workshop. Both events organised by Apples and Snakes


December 2010                   Was commissioned by Aspire Partnerships to write a poem for a short film 'Scissors, Sticks and Stones'.               


October 2010                       Performed at Washington Arts Centre, at the invitation of Radikal Words.


November 2007                  Performed at Northern Stage, funded by Kate Fox





Jeff Price             Radikal Words           07976 813319, e-mail

Kirsten Luckins   Apples and Snakes    07585 223162, e-mail



Links to performances


Aug 2012- Sky’s first poetry film made at ‘Read Our Lips’ workshop. It won best poetry film, and was showed cased at an Apples and Snakes event in London

Feb 2014 –Sky as a support act for Rob Auton’s tour ‘The Sky Show’



Links to the kind of workshops Sky delivers


Scratch Tyne is once a month funded by Applesandsnakes, where Sky and Rowan McCabe teach performance skills for those who attend open mikes and poetry slams


Watch a documentary of the workshops Sky delivered for Parents4parents with the Take our words for It project





‘Sky delivered a series of poetry workshops that not only engaged ‘hard to reach’ young people but provided staff with new ideas for how to evolve individual creativity and improve literacy knowledge and skills. Sky is an accomplished facilitator with a wealth of expertise and a creative energy that inspires without overwhelming or intimidating.’

Vicky Borrell , Project teacher,The Place, South Shields   (Project for looked after children’s education)


Sky is a wonderful and original writer and poet. Her work is sometimes raw but always incisive and often very funny. Her workshops are inspirational and she has an easy ability to communicate with even the most challenging of students ‘

Jeff Price, Managing Director Radikal Words CIC , Editor Zebra Publishing, Poetry Editor Northern Correspondent 


"Sky Hawkins is an experienced and engaging workshop leader, full of fun and games, with the skills to inspire even hard to reach young people to express themselves both on the page and in performance"

Kirsten Luckins, Northern Programme Coordinater for Apples and Snakes


“Sky is a powerful, engaging, funny performer and her powerful poems which are real stories which need to be told, from a voice which needs to be heard “

Kate Fox, Stand up poet and Radio 4 regular


‘’Sky's performances command your attention, giving life to tales of the voiceless in society’’ 

 Born Lippy, A monthly spoken word event in Newcastle upon tyne