The Women Behind Wordplay

Women have been creating new lanes across every industry, and it’s no different for the women behind the launch of Wordplay & Flow. Our new online magazine will cover all things poetry, arts, and culture, but the work behind the scenes is a large part of why we’re able to do what we do. If you’re a creative, you are definitely used to juggling multiple projects at once to make things happen. We explore how these female creatives have broken boundaries to share their talents with the world and what they want from 2021.

Tannika Taylor

Tannika Taylor isn’t new to the creative game. She is a published author, poet, and entrepreneur that founded Wordplay Poetry in 2020, while hosting a series of poetry events before the first UK lock down. The social media based platform raised awareness during the pandemic, and was successfully granted funding from Arts Council England to develop what we now know as Wordplay & Flow.

My ideas were always shut down when I tried to share them with my previous poetry team. It was those same ideas that secured me the funding to make them happen myself.

tannika taylor

The pandemic hit businesses hard, and it was no different for Tannika. Outside of managing Wordplay, Tannika owns a fashion business called Unique Boutique London that specialises in made-to-measure crochet garments. She also manages a business and money management platform called Time is Money Media which blossomed after the publication of her third book, Time is Money. A year later she has discovered new ways to make sure that her businesses are sustainable and able to survive what might be coming next. One of the key things she will be focusing on for 2021 is creating more balance.

When you do as much as I do, it can be easy to forget that balance breeds productivity. My mind is always buzzing, but sometimes you just need a time out.

tannika taylor

2020 was a difficult time for everyone, but especially for the black community. We all watched George Floyd die on our screens, and that motivated Tannika to launch Art is Expression; an online poetry series featuring black poets and discussion about issues within the black community. This was the start of the Wordplay & Flow journey, and we’re excited to see what more is to come.

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Aaliyah Kelly-Hibbert

London based photographer and creative Aaliyah Kelly-Hibbert started working on Soul Diaries at the age of 16. What started as an outlet for writing poetry and reflecting on emotions slowly evolved into her flourishing photography platform today.

After getting to know herself in deeper ways, Aaliyah had to face parts of herself that she didn’t like, and learn to channel that positive energy into discovering what her path was. Inspired by creative networking, unconventional visuals, and unique themes, Aaliyah has become a woman that let’s her work speak for itself.

The pandemic may have impacted her love to socialise, but it didn’t impact her drive to get work done. In 2021 her main goal is to collaborate with more creatives. From make-up artists to stylists that are building their craft, Aaliyah wants to make a statement. 

‘I prefer to work with upcoming creatives because they are often more humble and less prideful about sharing honest experiences they’ve had.’

Aaliyah kelly-hibbert
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Neelofer Nova

Winner of the Best London Poet at the Farrago awards, and founder of The Beautiful Truth Podcast, Neelofer has been inspiring people to elevate through expression for over 15 years. As a creative workshop facilitator and a performer that has graced the stage locally and internationally, Neelofer has continued to pave the way for creative’s to develop their artistic practices whilst showcasing what she does best.

An advocate for women across the globe, Neelofer was invited to become part of the SISTERHOOD project launched by Asian artist Deeyah. Representing the international voice of women is a significant passion of hers that she emphasises in her poetry and music.

2020 saw Neelofer re-emerge on the performance poetry scene where she performed at the bafta nominated Life and Rhymes event televised by Sky, and hosted by the legendary Benjamin Zephaniah. As a part of Wordplay & Flow family, Neelofer will continue to speak for the unheard, and fight for the many positive causes she stands for.

Photographer: Chris Beschi

MUA: Danielle Aleshea Artistry

Creatives: Tannika Taylor | Aaliyah Kelly-Hibbert | Neelofer Nova

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