Malika Booker, by Adrian Pope

Malika Booker

Malika Booker (b. 1970, London) is the founder of the writer’s collective ‘Malika’s Kitchen’. Her first collection, Pepper Seed, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize; she is a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds.

‘The Little Miracles’ takes as its departure point Tomas Tranströmer’s ‘Winter Night’; the raging storm of that poem is transformed into an interior storm, the poet’s mother’s stroke. Booker gives an uncompromising picture of the process of care and recovery: its fears, its effect on sibling relationships, its moments of false hope, its triumphs and gratitudes: ‘each spoonful of pureed food / slipped into her mouth like a tender offering takes us a step away / from feeding tubes, and we are so thankful for each minuscule miracle.’ 

Read more poems by Malika on The Guardian and Poetry Foundation.
Watch ‘Destined to Grow Apart’ a spoken word adaptation of Mars commissioned by BBC Earth

Forward Prize History:

  • 2020 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, winner for ‘The Little Miracles’ (Magma Poetry)
  • 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, shortlisted for  ‘Nine Nights’ (Poetry Review)
Photo credit: Adrian Pope