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A Birthday Poem by Deanna Rodger

Published: Wed 22 Oct 2014

In celebration of our 10th birthday, we commissioned performance poet Deanna Rodger to mark the occasion with a poem:

artsdepot turns 10!  

And in these 10 years
This building’s legs have nest its body above buses,
Wrapped arms tight in wind tunnels and roundabouts,
Round families that are welcomed each day
With babies who roll on matted floors admired by their new mums
Bonding over croissants while helium laughter flies
From the soft toy play pit, to the foyer’s tall ceiling,
Falling back with glee into dance school studios, full with inspired teens.

This performing heart, is a receiving stage
That welcomes all artists to come and play
Supporting new work with Arts Council/public funding and space,
To develop scripts of riddles and rhymes and commission new artists in all sorts of ways

A platform for all voices
Each night a class for every person in the community to take part
Producing Tally Ho: A Place To Meet to discover the local heritage
artsdepot is a place where talent can grow and live
A gift given to over 109,480 adults and kids

Its artsdepot’s birthday!
So let’s celebrate this cell of creativity
Celebrate the courage to stand tall in political wind
Celebrate the protest that saw a community win
Celebrate the nuclei - the staff that maintain the integrity of this professional arts centre, whose love is a bucket of faith
Celebrate the cafe, a space for families to be safe and play
Celebrate Dave whose eyes have memorized the tunnels behind the paint,
Whose hands keep the boiler warm, and lavatories banana free
Who holds this building together with rubber bands and TLC.

artsdepot, the home and host for everybody
Inclusive, accessible and generous
Let's celebrate artsdepot turning ten
Let's come together as artists, staff, as a community,
Let’s celebrate as friends.


Deanna Rodger is an actor and spoken word poet. She is the youngest UK Poetry Slam Champion (2007/8) and completed vocational acting training in The National Youth Theatres (NYT) REP Company 2012.

Deanna has performed commissions at Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and at the 2012 Olympic Team Welcome Ceremony. She has recently completed the audio book recording of Feral Youth by Polly Courtney and is currently writing her one woman show LondonMatter which has received support from POP Productions (IdeasTap, Sky Arts), The Roundhouse, The Albany and the Arts Council. She is co-founder of two popular spoken word events Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me (Spread the Word, New Writing South) and is in poetry collectives: Point Blank Poets (Biennale UK Artist International award 2011) and Keats House Poetry Forum, as well as leading on Podium Poets (Spread The Word) and workshops in and around the UK.

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