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National Poetry Day with Malika’s Poetry Kitchen – Click to access replay

October 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST

Free – £12.99
Malika's Poetry Kitchen Event Banner

This event was hosted on Thursday 7th October.



We’re celebrating National Poetry Day with this special online event featuring Malika’s Poetry Kitchen contributors to the recently published Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different anthology. The event will be hosted by the Director of the MPK writers’ collective, Jill Abram, and will feature poets Dean Atta, Be Manzini, Soul Patel and Joolz Sparkes. They will all join us live from their homes.

In the early years of the new millennium, poets Malika Booker and Roger Robinson saw the need for a space for writers outside of the establishment to grow, improve, discuss and learn. One Friday night, Malika offered her Brixton kitchen table as a meeting place. And so Malika’s Poetry Kitchen was born.

‘Kitchen’, as it became known, has ushered in a new generation of voices, launching some of the most exciting writers, books and initiatives in British poetry in the past twenty years. Today, Kitchen is a thriving writers’ collective, with a wealth of talented poets and branches in Chicago and India.

Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different is a celebration of Kitchen’s legacy, an appreciation of its foundational spirit and a rallying cry for all writers to dream the future. The collection features breathtaking new poems by Warsan Shire, Inua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi, Dean Atta, Roger Robinson, Malika Booker among many others.

Jill Abram has been Director of Malika’s Kitchen since 2010. She grew up in Manchester, travelled the world and now lives in Brixton. She worked for BBC Radio, specialising in making sound effects for comedy programmes. Her poems have been published in Under the Radar, The Rialto, Magma, Tears in the Fence, #MeToo Anthology, And Other Poems, The High Window and Ink Sweat & Tears. She performs her poems in London and beyond, including Ledbury Poetry Festival, Paris and USA. Jill produces and presents a variety of poetry events and she created and curates the Stablemates reading series.

Dean Atta was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. His debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His Young Adult novel in verse, The Black Flamingo, won the 2020 Stonewall Book Award, and was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, YA Book Prize and Jhalak Prize. Dean is based in Glasgow, and is Co-director of Scottish BAME Writers Network.

Referred to as the film-poet over the years, Be Manzini has found ways to uniquely combine her passion for poetry, film and well-being. The first ever: Writer In Residence for Sundance, poet-on-tour with film charity Birds’ Eye View, poet on the Mark Kermode MK3D live show, writing facilitator for Virgin Sport. Known for her ability to create universal and nurturing spaces as a workshop facilitator she teaches adults and children alike. A writer and speaker who has been resident at the Southbank Centre, a regular panelist for film, Judge for the innovative Visionary Honors awards, Manzini is also the Director of Caramel Film Club spot-lighting Black talent and supporting diversity and often appears on BBC radio and television.

Soul Patel is a London based poet. The themes of family and love are key to his poetry. Soul placed third in the Magma Competition in 2016, was long listed in the National Poetry Competition 2016 and 2017, was a Troubadour International Poetry Prize Winner in 2017, and was shortlisted for the Complete Works Poetry programme. He is working towards his first pamphlet.

Joolz Sparkes is published in magazines such as Magma, South Bank Poetry, the Persister’s Zine, Shooter Literary Magazine, Ink, Sweat & Tears and in The Other Side of Violet and Loose Muse anthologies. She was Poet in Residence at Leicester Square tube station, shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize and featured at Ledbury Poetry Festival. In 2018 she was awarded Arts Council funding for Research and Development of a joint project with the poet Hilaire, which explores women’s history in Battersea and Islington over many centuries. Their joint poetry collection, London Undercurrents, was published by Holland Park Press in 2019 and uncovers the voices of London’s unsung heroines, north and south of the river.

When you purchase a copy of Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different via the options below, you receive access to watch the livestream from home. There is an option to purchase a £3 voucher, which supports the bookshop and provides access to the livestream. The voucher can be used on any item in the bookshop and on our website – including books by featured poets from Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Please consider supporting the bookshop by purchasing a book or voucher, however we are also offering a Free Ticket option for this event.


October 7
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST
Free – £12.99


The Portobello Bookshop Events
United Kingdom


The Portobello Bookshop
0131 629 6756
View Organiser Website


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