Malika Booker writes poetry, plays and solo monologues and has more than 15 years? experience working with young people in Primary and secondary schools, as well as adult participants in community organizations and writing institutions such as universities, and colleges both in the UK and abroad; whether as a workshop facilitator, visiting writer or creative mentor.
She is a British writer of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage; an internationally recognized spoken word and multidisciplinary artist.
Malika is the former Education Co-ordinator for Apples and Snakes poetry Organization, where she placed poets in Educational Institutions to facilitate workshops. She is a sought-after workshop leader and has run creative writing courses for organizations including Apples and Snakes, The Arvon Foundation, National Theatre, Barbican Educational Department, Young Vic and The British Festival of Visual Theatre (BFVT).She has represented British writing internationally, both independently and with the British Council including Slovenia, New Zealand, Malysia, India, Russia and Azerbaijan.
Possessing a vivacious and winning personality, Malika has worked with and tutored young people for the Inner-London Teenager Poetry Slam since 2003, this six month residency results in a final Slam performance at Stratford Circus, a published collection of the young people?s writing as well as a DVD and CD of their performance. This year Malika?s team from Hendon School were awarded a trophy for ?Most Striking Line.'
In 2005 she won an Arts Council Fellowship as the Writer in Residence at the India International Centre in Delhi. In addition to her activities at the institute, where she was working on a novel, she also ran visited numerous local schools as a performer and creative writing tutor. She visited private international schools and centres of excellence alongside schools for disadvantaged children in deprived areas, working in English and sometimes with the aid of an interpreter. As part of her work for the British Council in Singapore, Malika ran workshops on identity and memoir with abandoned teenage Muslim girls in an orphanage. In Malaysia she led poetry workshops in Schools as well as inset with English student and established teachers.
In February 2004 She was a commissioned writer in residence in St James Primary School, where she worked with a class of thirty 6-8 year pupils to create a full length play. In October 2004 She was the writer in Residence for Grimsby, where she worked with year 7-10 Students in five Grimsby Schools over a week.
Last year she was Writer in Residence for Derby Council, where she taught poetry workshops in several Primary and secondary Schools, as well as Afro-Caribbean Community centers exploring the theme of Windrush, Community and social Significance, heritage and history. Malika then created an Education Resource Pack which was distributed to all the Secondary and Primary Schools in Derby, whilst over seventy poems created by the students were placed on the Derby's Cultural Diversity Arts Network web site.
Earlier this year, Malika worked with students at Hayes School in Bromley, where the students had a strong academic focus and a heavy work schedule. Working with the Talented and Gifted GCSE English students, Malika?s brief was to nurture and develop their creativity so that it could feed in to their academic output. Their head of department Jeremy Eden volunteered the following feedback to Apples & Snakes?s education manager:
?Just a short email to say how much we appreciated Malika?s work with our Year 11s, last term. Quite a few of them have been inspired to take their creative writing further and all have gained confidence in what they can do and how. I thought that Malika was very personable, amiable and professional, engaging the students from the start and throughout each session.?
She is currently working on her poetry collection, using artefacts as stimulus for her new poems and as a result has begun to develop creative writing workshops for Primary and Secondary schools as well as adult writers, which use artefacts and history as the starting point. She recently ran a successful one day workshop at London Metropolitan Archives for adult writers
Malika's poems are widely published in anthologies and journals including Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women?s Poetry (The Women?s Press, 1998), The Fire People:A collection of Contemporary Black British Poets (Payback Press, 1998), IC3, The Penguin Anthology of New Black Writing (Penguin, 2000), Wasafiri, No32 (Autumn 2000), Modern Love (Renaissance One, 2001), Kin (Renaissance One, 2003), The India International Journal (IIC Press, 2005) and Atlas: New Writing/ Art/ Image (Crossword Press, 2006).
Her collection Breadfruit was published by flippedeye in 2008, and was recommended by the Poetry Book Society.
January 2009 - She is currently a resident Artist at Battersea Ars Centre where she is in the process of creating her new solo show, 'Malika's Altars'.
October 2008 - Toured a Commissioned for Apples and Snake and The British Council 'Speachless.'
November 2007 - Toured a Commission for Birmingham Rep Theatre 'Speakers Corner.'
April 2007 ? Apples and Snakes and Battersea Arts Centre commissioned the Solo show 'Unplanned.' It had a three week run at BAC, then toured Britain.
February 2001 ? Nitro Theatre?s Writer In Residence. They commissioned the musical play 'Catwalk.' It toured Theatres in Britain, culminating in a four week run at the Tricycle Theatre.
1999 ? Nitro Theatre Company commissioned a 15 minute monologue Love Screams, a collaboration with classical composer Shirley Thompson, performed at Union Chapel.
1999 ? Battersea Arts Centre / The Austrian Cultural Institute, commissioned Absolution. It had a three week run at BAC.
Malika Booker has been employed as a freelance artist at Apples & Snakes for 8 years. She is a very experienced and knowledgeable poet and educator who has worked extensively with us in education of one off bookings and longer term projects using poetry and creative writing. We have primarily worked with Malika in primary schools with Key Stages 2 and Secondary Schools (Key Stages 3 & 4) and with adult learners in a variety of settings.
Malika has worked with Apples & Snakes on a number of longer term projects including: Mentoring Artists in Derby to work in schools (2000); Artists' residency at Hampton Court Palace (2004/5); Developing education workshops for Surestart alongside her one woman show Unplanned (2007); working with refugees in Speachless (2008) and most recently with Derby City Council for an oral history project (2008).
Malika relates well to young people & adults alike, and is very effective at helping participants build confidence in their writing and performance. She can plan well structured sessions for both one off bookings and longer term projects to achieve successful project outcomes. I would have no hesitation in recommending Malika for education work.
Some recent feedback:
"Malika was brilliant at engaging the students. Students were encouraged to use their imagination and were shown their own potential which I found inspiring." (Cottlesloe School, September 2008)
Education & Training Programme Co-ordinator
Apples & Snakes, London
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