Tré Ventour is a Northampton-based writer, teaching poet, journalist, spoken word artist and a third-year Creative Writing student at the University of Northampton.
Additionally, he is Soul Food Poetry’s ambassador for Northampton. Soul Food Poetry is a company that puts on monthly poetry nights in England and The Netherlands, tying communities together through poetry and spoken word.
His work, more than anything else, is a map of coming-of-age and looking back on past histories, sometimes his own and sometimes the stories of this nation, tales of empire that Britain would rather forget – bits of bunting flapping in the breeze in the haze of nooses, slavery and immigration, five-minute odes to his family’s Caribbean heritage… roots, rocks and rebellion – clever elegies with colonial undertones that allowed Britain to grow rich on the backs of others.
He blends “proper poetry” with spoken word. He thinks to himself “What if Alfred Tennyson and Akala had a conversation”, all while focusing on his craft making sure each line leaves readers shocked, gasping, thinking and critically challenged.
Mental health, literature, identity politics, war and race are poeticised, in addition to nicer topics like kid lit, nature and family.
These poems can be two minutes or ten minutes but they dig into your flesh, build homes and families, making sure they you stay a while. He cuts at the arteries, he satirises, he informs.
He discusses the millennial experience of coming-of-age in a society where children are stripped of innocence, having to grow up faster than their forbears, thanks to social media and the internet.
Tré has worked with such organisations such as BBC Radio Northampton, NREC (Northants Race and Equality Council), Q-Space and NBHA (Northamptonshire Black History Association).
He is one of the rising voices of Northamptonshire, deconstructing myths and stereotypes, moving from colonialism to Windrush to mental health and family, always taking audiences on journeys – odes to (not only but including) historic figures, grandparents, strong women, ancestors and the art of writing.
Regardless of the topics, he does his utmost to challenge audiences by making seemingly difficult subjects like colonialism universally accessible for people, opening dialogues through poetry and spoken word.
Viola Davis said:
“I became an artist and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”
From poetry to fiction to nonfiction to plays to film, television and theatre, he loves this industry and he doesn’t know where he would be without it.