The Complete Works: A national two year development programme for ten advanced Black and Asian poets. It partners The Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation, The Old Possum’s Practical Trust, In association with the Arvon Foundation. It supports writers to produce a full-length collection by providing Individual poet-mentors who will offer intensive critical feedback, tailored support and career development. Writers will have access to a professional development programme, seminars, critical reading sessions, meet-the-editor events and career support and advice. Each year will feature a residential week of writing at Arvon for the group where peer support will be encouraged. The Complete Works will culminate in a final anthology for Bloodaxe in 2010 at a showcase event.
During the programme I have been mentored by the eminent poet, George Szirtes. Here are George Szirtes’s description of my poems in the anthology Ten Edited by Bernardine Evaristo and Daljit Nagra.
They are vivid, almost gleaming narratives in lyric form, narratives that deal with hard things in politics and relationships and see those terms as mutually contingent… That sense of slippage, cry and desire is key to Nick Makoha’s work. It is the exile element.
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.
‘This thrilling, moving, challenging and inspiring new anthology introduces 10 sparkling new talents who demonstrate the richness, energy and confidence of the poetic voice in our multicultural country. It is a joyful and important moment in publishing.’
– Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate