Malika Booker (b. 1970, London) is the author of Breadfruit (flipped eye, 2007), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press, 2013). She was the inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and a Fellow of both Cave Canem and The Complete Works. She also appears alongside Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire in Penguin Modern Poets 3.
Booker is of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage: her shortlisted poem, ‘Nine Nights’, is taken from a series of poems around Caribbean funerals written in post as a Douglas Caster Fellow at the University of Leeds. This work takes the form of nine fragments, and charts a vivid intersection between biblical and Grenadian funeral rites: ‘Lazarus dash way hymns and cuss words from he house with the heavy bass of a thumping speaker box.’