PERFORMANCE poet Adisa knows all about the power of the spoken word – in fact, he even hopes to incite revolution with his “silver tongue” when his show arrives in Finchley next week.

Speaking ahead of his arrival at the artsdepot, the former Hackney Poet Laureate tells me his latest show, 1968 – The Year That Never Ended, draws on one of the most revolutionary years of the 20th Century and illustrates how “the power of the collective voice” can bring about real change.

Adisa, who is of Caribbean descent and regularly works with schools in Haringey and north London, explains: “It actually happens to be the year I was born and when you look at the history, you can see just how much happened in the space of twelve months.

“That was the year two African American athletes gave the Power to the People salute at the summer Olympics in Mexico. In my show, I parallel that with the protestors who were at the Beijing Olympics last summer.

“It was also the year that Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, that we orbited the moon for the first time and that broadcasting technology moved forward, allowing information to be beamed straight into people’s homes.

“But it was also the time when many artists used their platforms to really speak out for change. Even The Beatles had a hit in 1968 with Revolution.”

Making connections between 1968 and today through poetry and music, Adisa tells me he hopes to inspire “personal revolution” among the young and old.

“I want to bring positive thinking to everyone,” says Adisa, who grew up in Luton and now lives in east London. “I want to get people thinking about what they want to be and what steps they have taken to get there. I tell them, ‘go for it, do those things and take charge of your lives’.

“The themes of 1968 really are revolution and leadership and I want to show how everyone can evolve and everyone has leadership potential.”

Adisa’s mission to inspire others through the power of poetry has in fact recently reaped rewards on the Campsbourne Estate, which is located between Muswell Hill and Hornsey. For the last few months, the 41-year-old has run workshops with young teens at Camspace, a new community centre on the estate. Now they will get the chance to perform their poetry just before Adisa’s show next week.

Speaking about the Campsbourne Estate project, which is run by artsdepot, in conjunction with Homes for Haringey and Haringey Youth Service, Adisa says: “It’s a very deprived area and it’s taken a while to build the rapport with the young people, because when they think of poetry, they see it as something they have had to dissect at school and not really like or understand.

“What they don’t see is how rap music and lyric writing are actually the same as poetry, so I’ve been trying to help them make that connection.”

Adisa: 1968 The Year That Never Ended on Thursday, June 18, 8pm, at artsdepot, Nether Street, North Finchley. Details: 020 8369 5454 or