[Many thanks to Michael O’Neal (Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism) for bringing this item to our attention.] New Caribbean Voices, hosted by Malika Booker, is a regular, monthly podcast that will explore contemporary Caribbean and Black British writing. It has been called “a spiritual successor to the BBC’s Caribbean Voices show.”
Hosted by poet, writer, and multi-disciplinary artist Malika Booker, episode one begins with ‘head honcho’, founder and Managing Editor of Peepal Tree Press, Jeremy Poynting, and a discussion around the BBC World Service’s radio programme Caribbean Voices—the inspiration for this New Caribbean Voices podcast.
Caribbean Voices aired from 1943 to 1958, and became a crucial platform for the likes of Samuel Selvon, Derek Walcott and Una Marson to share their brilliant early works. It was, as internationally renowned poet and critical thinker, Kamau Brathwaite said, ‘the single most important literary catalyst for Caribbean creative and critical writing in English.’
Jeremy points out the beauty in listening to authors read their own work; ‘for me, it’s always important to hear people reading… to be able to read with their rhythms’. Episode one of New Caribbean Voices features Barbara Jenkins reading from her debut novel De Rightest Place , recorded in St Anns, Trinidad.
Also in this episode, Shivanee Ramlochan, our resident book reviewer in Trinidad (and author of Everyone Knows I am A Haunting) recommends recent Caribbean books, including Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné’s Doe Songs, and Jacob Ross’s collected short stories, Tell No-One About This.
Malika Booker writes out of a passion for Caribbean culture; the music, the food, the dance, the religion, the storytelling, the festivals, the musicality of the spoken language. She takes an active part in Carnival Mas in Notting Hill every year. In her house, there is usually background music of Soca and Calypso and hardly a day goes by when she doesn’t speak to her family; these are the rhythms she lives by.
Malika Booker is a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Her collection Pepper Seed, (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas 2014 poetry prize, and the Seamus Heaney Centre 2014 prize for first full collection. She received her MA from Goldsmiths University and was recently awarded the Cultural Fellowship in Creative Writing/Literary Art post at Leeds University. Malika was the first British poet to be a fellow at Cave Canem and the inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has represented British writing internationally, both independently and with the British Council.
Malika has also written for the stage and radio, and poems are widely published in anthologies and journals including: Out of Bounds, Black & Asian Poets (Bloodaxe 2012); Ten New Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010); The India International Journal (2005); and Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry (The Women’s Press, 1998).