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Transforming peoples relationship to language.
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2017 Featured

New York Times

2017 Shortlist

Forward Prize For Best First Collection

2021 Winner

Ivan Juritz Prize

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.




Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize


Artistry + Process with Roger Robinson


NewsFrequent Magic
March 10, 2022

Frequent Magic

From thought-provoking Caribbean classics to eye-opening Black British, African and Asian novels and poetry, independent publisher and Leeds institution Peepal Tree Press have been exploring what place the Caribbean has…
NewsCommon Language
September 20, 2021

Common Language

Overview Produced by Poet in the City, Common Language is a new digital programme with an initial series spanning four episodes, broadcast live and hosted on YouTube. Each 30 minute…
NewsNick Makoha wins The Ivan Juritz Prize
July 1, 2021

Nick Makoha wins The Ivan Juritz Prize

A Low-Pressure System A Low-Pressure System is part of sequence that explores the Entebbe hijacking in 1976. It is a dramatic retelling of those events, paralleled against Nick’s life, and key…


The debut poetry collection of Nick Makoha, a young poet of Ugandan heritage. This first collection brings to mind shaman in his combination of biblical speak and magical imagery

Roger Robinson

Nick Makoha's poems animate in the space between story and song. His sentences unwind full of ‘axe heads, shanks, short rope, blades, some poison and all its animal understanding.’ His imagery and insights are strung along an electrified syntax. He writes, ‘You will try to make sense of the terrain, its limits on reality, its secondary sounds – the crickets speaking pure rhetoric.’ I find the terrains of his thinking and feeling breathtaking. Kingdom Of Gravity is truly an amazing debut.

Terence Hayes

The Kingdom of Gravity is also that of graveyards that follow military rules and all varieties of authoritarianism in post colonial Africa. Makoha reminds me of Brecht who once wrote that even in the dark times, there will be singing about the dark times. His poetry is full of telling lines and images that capture the uneasy synthesis of the clear and the contradictory, the menacing and the promising, the ugly and the beautiful, but images that burn long into memory of the reader.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

What history will the poets write? In Kingdom of Gravity, Nick Makoha writes the tale left untold after the soldiers, politicians, reporters and priests have spoken. His words ring into memory, into silence, into the body. This is a poet’s archive of the unsaid, but also much more than that. How exquisitely the tale is told, at last. Carrying finely wrought metaphors, every page stopped my breath. In these poems, the sky is “an iris of black glass” and truly “There are days/ when this unplanned landscape speaks its music.” This is a collection by a poet of extraordinary gifts.

Gabeba Baderoon

There is in Makoha’s work an intriguing balance between the immediate and the stately that fits his material and offers possibilities for expansion and further exploration. All that – his personal history, the history of his country and the leaving of it – suggests to me a talent at the beginning of a genuinely important road.

George Szirtes