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About Nick Makoha
Nicholas Makoha is a dynamic writer born in Uganda and has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London. He is one of ten contemporary poets in the UK to have been selected for Spread the Word’s Complete Works development programme. During the programme he has been mentored by eminent poet George Szirtes, both writers in exile.
Nick Makoha was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection for he’s debut Kingdom of Gravity. Bernardine Evaristo and Jackie Kay recommended it in The Guardian’s Best books of 2017. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, Malika’s Kitchen Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. As Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Goldsmiths, University of London he started the filming of Black Metic Poet interviews as part of the Metic experiences of Black British Writers.
Nick Makoha’s first full-length collection, Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal Tree £8.99), was the 2017 debut which most excited me. Focused on Uganda during the Idi Amin dictatorship, his poetry is charged with ethical sensibility. The lines protest as they sing “the song disturbed by helicopter blades…” but they don’t simplify things: they explore, and complicate. Personal witness and artistry are one. - Carol Rumens - The Guardian
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Books By Nick Makoha
On a November evening in 1978 after eight years of civil war, Nick Makoha and his mother fled their homeland of Uganda. Many people were displaced, thrown into unfamiliar environments and forced to find their new home in the world.
The Dark is Nick's own poetic retelling of his experience and that of others affected by it - a series of voices echoing from varying states of darkness. What unfolds is a story of those who find themselves exiled, with allegiances split between their birthplace and their new country.
The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the conclusion of the Second World War. But around the world, oppressed and imprisoned people are still longing for freedom and asking, “What does it mean to be free?” This collection of poems explores that question.
In honor of this anniversary, some of the world’s top contemporary voices—including Rita Dove, Robert Pinsky, Jay Parini, Yusef Komunyakaa, Agi Mishol, Tsering Woeser, Han Dong, Ernesto Santana, and Richard Blanco—have written poems on the theme of liberation as it inspires them personally and creatively. Nearly all of their poems are published for the first time in this volume.
The result is an artistic representation of the universal yearning for freedom from twenty-five countries—and countless stories of oppression, imprisonment, and liberation. Here are Afghan women writing in secret, Tibetan and Cuban dissidents, memories and hopes inspired by topics from Fergusson to the Middle East, from illness to spirituality to joy in nature. This collection demonstrates the power of art to heal and to bring attention to freedom as a universal human right.
Lyrical, uplifting, contemplative, sometimes angry, sometimes hopeful, always masterful, these are enduring poems to enrich and inspire.