Malika Booker

My White Best Friend - North: Malika Booker
Malika's letter will be performed at The Holbeck on Fri 22 Oct. Book tickets.

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"In social interactions when micro-aggressions occur the Black body, becomes uncomfortable and silenced. Even as Artists we experience racism and are silenced. That silence is damaging to the body, mind, heart and soul. This project feels like an artistic intervention. It provides me as an artist and a Black Caribbean British woman with the opportunity to speak out in a safe way. To hopefully communicate, raise awareness and transform through a frank and open letter. I wanted a chance to speak the things I have never been able to articulate, find the language and hope this reading will be insightful and thought provoking as well as resonate and reflect other people’s truths."

Malika Booker is a poet and theatre maker, who currently Lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.

Malika's pamphlet Breadfruit, (flippedeye, 2007) received a Poetry Society recommendation and the first poetry collection Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre 2014 prize for first full collection. She is published with the poets Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire in The Penguin Modern Poet Series 3: Your Family:Your Body (2017and her poem Nine Nights, first published in The Poetry Review in autumn 2016, was shortlisted for Best Single Poem in the 2017 Forward Prize. 

Malika hosts and curates New Caribbean Voices, Peepal Tree Press’s literary podcast. A cave Canem Fellow, and inaugural Poet in Residence at The Royal Shakespeare Company, Malika was awarded the Cholmondeley Award for outstanding contribution to poetry (2019) and won The Forward Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem (2020).

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