Born in Uganda, Nick Makoha fled the country with his mother, as a result of the political overtones that arose from the civil war during the Idi Amin dictatorship. He has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London.
Nick won the 2015 Brunel African Poetry Prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man.
Malika Booker is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage. Her pamphlet Breadfruit received a Poetry Society recommendation and her collection Pepper Seed was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for first full collection.
She was the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Creative Writing at Leeds University, the first British poet to be a fellow at Cave Canem, and the inaugural Poet in Residence at The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. Educated at the University of Leeds, she is a literary activist, theatre maker and published writer, hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poets by the BBC.
Khadijah has performed and produced art programs in the USA, Caribbean, Africa and Asia. She is the Artistic director of Leeds Young Authors, and executive producer of the award-winning documentary We Are Poets.
Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, musician and lecturer described as ‘the leader of the black avant-garde in Britain’. His written work and performance occupies a space between surrealism, jazz and the rhythms of Caribbean speech and music.
He is the author of four poetry collections and a novel The African Origins of UFOs. In 2005 he was selected by the Arts Council of England and Renaissance One as one of 50 Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature. His latest novel, The Frequency of Magic, is written in 100 chapters of 1,000 words each, and moves from gritty realism to speculative fiction, from myth to music.
Jason Yarde is a composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist who has been described as powerful, spiritual and formidable. He composes across variety of styles (jazz, classical, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, soul) and for a variety of media (orchestras, chamber ensembles, big band, dance, film).
He has been nominated for the Bird Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Jazz on 3 Innovation Award for the BBC Jazz Awards, the inaugural prize for Contemporary Jazz Composition at the British Composer Awards and a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers.