Malika Booker (England) read at the 2017 John Hewitt International Summer School alongside Luke Kennard.
Malika was born in London to Guyanese and Grenadian parents, and lived in Grenada until she was thirteen, when she returned to England. She studied anthropology at Goldsmiths, London and, in 2001, along with poet and performer Roger Robinson, founded Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. The collective “nurtures the writing, performance and careers of poets by emphasising craft, community and development.”
Malika Booker's pamphlet “Breadfruit” (flipped eye, 2007) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and her debut collection, “Pepper Seed” (Peepal Tree Press) was longlisted for the OCM Bocas prize (2014) and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre prize for first full collection (2014). ‘Nine Nights’, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2017 and her poem, ‘The Little Miracles’, won that same prize in 2020.
She was the inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company (2010) and was Chair of Judges for The Forward Prize in 2016. Malika was both a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Creative Writing and LHRI Fellow at Leeds University (2015—2017). In 2019 she was awarded the Society of Authors Cholmondley Award for her contribution to poetry. She is a Creative Writing lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at MMU and was Chair of Judges for the international Manchester Poetry Prize 2019.
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