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{50 Words}

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award winning poet, playwright & founder of the Midnight Run. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & Oberon.

{100 Words}

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of the Midnight Run — an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional african storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His poetry is published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & several plays by Oberon. 

 {200 Words}

Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a graphic designer at White Space Creative Agency. He facilitates workshops in creative writing where he explores reoccurring themes in his work - Identity, Displacement and Destiny - in accessible, enjoyable ways for participants of all ages and backgrounds. 

His creative work has been recognised with a number of awards: The Live Canon International Poetry Prize, The Arts Council of England Award, a Wellcome Trust Award, twice shortlisted for the Brunel Prize for African Poetry, longlisted the Alfred Fagan Award, Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2009 and the Liberty Human Rights Award.

He has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Tate Modern, Louis Vuitton, Chris Ofili, BBC Radio & Television. His first three pamphlets of poetry ‘Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales’ and ‘Candy Coated Unicorn and Converse’ were published Flipped Eye and 'The Wire-Headed Heathen' by Akashic Books. Several plays including the critically acclaimed Black T-shirt Collection and award-winning The 14th Tale are published by Oberon. In 2005, he founded the Midnight Run— an arts-filled, night-time, playful, walking, urban movement that attempts to reconnect inner city lives with inner city spaces.



With Iman Amrani, for The Guardian.

BBC Writer's Room Interview for Swipe Slow (see below).

Interview with the British Council.



The Long Song Goodbye

A 40 minute poetry set, filmed at the Giving Word Festival. 2015. 

A poem commissioned by National Theatre. it closely follows the plot of the play Everyman

Poem: Directions. About going for a walk in the city. Published in Candy Coated Unicorns & Converse All Stars.

Poem: Candy Coated Unicorns & Converse All Stars. Published in Candy Coated Unicorns & Converse All Stars.

Poems: Dear Tina, Faith in a time of double dip recessions. Recorded at Wordsmiths & Co.



Trailer For An Evening With An Immigrant

Trailer for Untitled

TED talks.

TEDx Brixton. 2015

TEDx Hackney Talk on The Midnight Run. 2013

TEDx Euston. 2013.


The most talented artists hone in on micro-interactions and derive concepts from seemingly mundane occurrences – in the best cases, they use these to make larger social critiques. Ellams certainly demonstrates this ability.
— Culture Calendar on 'An Evening With An Immigrant'

His words are incredible... The poems are just stunning.
— Everything Theatre on 'An Evening With An Immigrant'.

Ellams is a charismatic and engaging performer of his own work. His poems are vivid, picture-rich, hip hop-inflected and alliterative, the words warm as bread.
— The Stage on 'An Evening With An Immigrant'

Ellams’s writing is exceptional, and has a character and an incredible ability to paint vivid pictures for an audience. His words are full of love, nostalgia and strength. He transports us.
— A Younger Theatre on 'An Evening With An Immigrant'.

He tells his story with passion and rich, warm humour.
— The Guardian on 'An Evening With An Immigrant'

Ellams has an instinctive feel for the polyphonous rhythms of dialogue, and the way his characters use language is both a texture and a theme of this play.
— The Telegraph on 'Barber Shop Chronicles'

Exuberant, Invigorating... and richly enjoyable drama.
— The Guardian on 'Barber Shop Chronicles'.

Rich and exhilarating... The tone of the play shifts fluidly from comedy to poignancy to rage.
— The Stage on 'Barber Shop Chronicles'

An ambitious piece and so life-affirmingly realised. Go.
— Independent on 'Barber Shop Chronicles'

This wonderful new play is a revelation.
— The Times on 'Barber Shop Chronicles'

#Afterhours takes both the wellbeing and the understanding of the reader as a matter of central importance, let literary kudos fall where it may, a radical gesture in a scene that still equates self-protective emotional insensitivity, irony or literary ‘seriousness’ with a mastery of craft.
— Dave Coates on '#Afterhours'

His writing is aromatic. He can capture the smell of a place, the sense of a moment, as well as anyone.
— Whatsonstage on 'Black T-shirt Collection'

...dazzling, densely woven hybrids of music, rhythm and narrative, in which Ellams channels his love for image and metaphor into longer, more sustained stories.
— Metro Newspaper on 'Black T-shirt Collection'

A tinglingly resonant celebration of the art of solo performance.
— Evening Standard on 'Black T-shirt Collection'.

You sink into his storytelling, which paints vivid mental images and, thanks to minimal yet eloquent sound, a real sense of location. Ellams has an easy, laid-back charisma and pares poetic flair for narrative with admirable restraint. The wordsmith remains present, though, and his sentences, with their sophisticated flavour and texture combinations, can be something of a Michelin-starred mouthful.
— Time Out on 'The 14th Tale'.

Ellams’ poetry gleams with a dusty, worn, deeply original beauty and he remains such wonderfully generous company to keep on stage.
— Metro on 'The 14th Tale.'

There’s something uniquely 21st Century about Ellams’ voice which somehow absorbs the whole experience of colonialism without being totally defined by it.
— The Scotsman on 'The 14th Tale'.