Category: poetry

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: AKALA

Kingslee James Daley (born 1 December 1983), better known by the stage name Akala, is a British Hip-hop artist, author, and political activist.

Born in 1983 to a Scottish mother and Jamaican father, Daley grew up in Kentish Town, London.

He chose the stage name Akala, a Buddhist term for “Immovable”, and started releasing music in 2003 from his own independent music label, Illa State Records. He released his first mixtape, entitled The War Mixtape, in 2004.

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Akala has given guest lectures at East 15 Acting School, and the International Slavery Museum as well as a workshop on songwriting at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has also spoken at the Oxford Union.
He has also been involved in campaigns to decolonize the curriculum including giving a talk at the University of Leicester.

Akala is the author of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, Visions (Part One), and children’s book, You Can Do Anything: Hip and Hop.

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POETS YOU SHOULD BE READING: MORGAN PARKER

Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015) and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce (Tin House Books, 2017). She is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a Pushcart Prize winner. With poet Angel Nafis she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo.

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Her poetry has been featured in publications including Tin House, Poetry Foundation, and others. Her work was also included in Why I Am Not A Painter (Argos Books), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and Best American Poetry 2016. 

She lives in Brooklyn.

POETS YOU SHOULD BE READING: SAFIA ELHILLO

Safia Elhillo  is well-known for her spoken word poetry and is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) and the chapbook The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles

Elhillo has been praised for her work and has been the recipient of several prestigious poetry awards.

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Her poems have appeared in many publications and Elhillo is also a founding member of Slam NYU, the 2012 and 2013 national collegiate championship team, and was a three-time member and former coach of the DC Youth Slam Poetry team. She is a Cave Canem fellow and serves as poetry editor of Kinfolks Quarterly.

Follow her on Twitter here – https://twitter.com/mafiasafia?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

POETS YOU SHOULD BE READING: BOBBI SYKES

Bobbi Sykes was an Australian poet, author and civil rights activist who fought for Australian Aboriginal rights.

As a juvenile, Sykes experienced a difficult life; expelled from school at age 14 and later became pregnant after she was sexually assaulted.

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Sykes’s early poetry was published in 1979 in the book ‘Love Poems and Other Revolutionary Acts.

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Sykes later received a PhD in Education from Harvard University in 1983 becoming the first black Australian to graduate from a United States university.