Bocas Lit Fest

Malika Booker is a poetry Lecturer at Manchester University, a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Her 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 (2017). 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 (2019) and won The Forward Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem (2020).

Richard Georges is a writer of essays, fiction, and three collections of poetry. His most recent book, Epiphaneia (Out-Spoken), won the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and his first book, Make Us All Islands (Shearsman), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Richard is a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study and serves as the first Virgin Islands Poet Laureate. He works in higher education and lives on Tortola with his wife and children.

Keith Jarrett is a writer, performer and educator based in London. UK poetry slam champion and FLUPP International Poetry Slam Winner (Rio), his work has included bilingual performances in Bilbao and Madrid, in addition to UK-wide commissions. His poem, ‘From the Log Book’, was projected onto the façade of St. Paul’s Cathedral and broadcast as a commemorative art installation, Where Light Falls, in 2019. His play, Safest Spot in Town, was performed at the Old Vic and aired on BBC Four. Selah, his poetry collection, was published in 2017. Keith was selected for the International Literary Showcase by Val McDermid as one of ten most outstanding LGBT writers in the UK. He has judged the Polari Prize, the Foyle Young Poets Award, and is the Europe and Canada regional judge for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021. Having recently completed his PhD at Birkbeck University, he is finishing his first novel and teaches on the Creative Writing MA. 

Hannah Lowe is a writer and academic in London, UK. Her first poetry collection Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013) won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection and was short-listed for the Forward, Aldeburgh and Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prizes. Her second collection is Chan (Bloodaxe, 2016).  In 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation British poets, an accolade awarded once a decade. She has also published four chapbooks: The Hitcher (Rialto 2012); R x (sine wave peak, 2013); Ormonde (Hercules Editions 2014). (2016) and most recently, The Neighbourhood. (Outspoken Press, 2019). She has been Writer in Residence at Keats House and currently lectures in Creative Writing at Brunel University.

Maureen Roberts (MA in Creative Writing, Goldsmiths College) is a Senior Engagement & Learning Officer at London Metropolitan Archives. She is a Trustee of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, London and is also Operations Manager of the Ithaca College London Centre study abroad programme, working as an Administrator and lecturer. From 2010 to 2013, she was Curator of the Keats House Festival, and she was also previously the organiser of the Ithaca College Martin Luther King Scholars London Programme. In 2012, Maureen Roberts represented Grenada as part of the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus, which was part of London’s Cultural Olympiad. A published author and teacher, her poems have been widely anthologised, including on the Caribbean O level exam syllabus. Maureen is the Founder of the Archives Download group, which encourages BAME participation in archives.

Roger Robinson is a writer who has performed worldwide. He is the winner of the 2019 T S Eliot Prize and the 2020 RSL Ondaatje Prize. His latest collection, A Portable Paradise, was a New Statesman Book of the Year. He is an alumnus of The Complete Works and was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize and the Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize, has been commended by the Forward Poetry Prize and is currently shortlisted for the 2020 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. Roger has received commissions from The National Trust, the BBC, The National Portrait Gallery, the V&A Museum and Theatre Royal Stratford East among others. His workshops have been shortlisted for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries and were also a part of the Webby Award-winning Barbican’s Can I Have A Word. He is co-founder of Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Kitchen. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for King Midas Sound and has recorded solo albums with Jahtari Records.

Your Local Arena is a Lucy Hannah & Speaking Volumes co-production.

featuring BBC Arena’s film archive.

This event is funded by Arts Council England and Hamish Hamilton, part of Penguin Random House.

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