British born Barbadian raised artist, Birdspeed, is the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam Champion 2019, a BBC 1 Extra & Asian Network Talent Search Winner and the Hammer and Tongue UK Poetry Slam Championships 2019. Aside from winning numerous slams in the UK Birdspeed is also a multi- slam winner in the US. She is: a 2x Nuyorican Slam Winner, a New York Slam Champion Finalist and currently holds the Manhattan Arts Laureate title for 2019. Birdspeed also performs internationally and has headlined in city venues across New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Notable US venues include the Bowery Poetry Club, NYC and The African American Centre, Philadelphia.
As a performer she is known for her ability to captivate audiences by effortlessly weaving poetry, storytelling, satirical humour and movement. Her writing is equally as breathtaking and often a combination of social commentary and auto- biographical tales including themes on: Caribbean culture and folklore, afrofuturism, black feminism, mental health (especially in black working class communities), and the lingering effects of colonialism on the black body.
Birdspeed is published in Bad Betty Press' upcoming anthology Alter Egos (2019) and Empoword’s Words on Windrush Anthology (July 2019).
Her first self published pamphlet Bloom: Flowers and Festivals is now available for purchase.
Dedicated to empowering and inspiring people through cultural integrity, especially marginalised and disadvantaged communities, Birdspeed has performed and facilitated workshops in a variety of organisations including: a men’s prison, women’s refuges and the NYPD (New York Police Department).
In October 2018 Birdspeed wrote, recorded and filmed a poem a day for British Black History Month as a response to the lack of narratives on black British historical figures.
In February 2019 Birdspeed performed her first play, The Firebird at the Salisbury Theatre Playhouse.
Birdspeed is Barbadian slang meaning “To Move Real Fast” Birdspeed is the alter ego/ performance character of Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa. Birdspeed originally referred to Safiya’s unique dance style which incorporated rapid body movements and her athleticism being a competitive sprinter. Birdspeed is also a symbol for strength, integrity and pays homage to Safiya’s childhood dreams of becoming a superhero. Safiya is also an activist and often uses her character to raise awareness on issues regarding her identity as a black British West Indian woman.
This biography will be regularly updated to keep up with Birdspeed's journey.