Shortlisted for the Poetry Prize for First Collection from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry
Malika Booker’s Pepper Seed is map and compass to a world of distinct yet interconnected landscapes. At home in a number of locales (Brooklyn, Brixton, Trinidad, Guyana, and Grenada) Booker trains a brave eye on the unspeakable and the unspoken. By turns bearing witness, to the interior lives of the characters that people her poems, and laying herself bare, conjuring an immediate and complex vision of the miraculous ordinary.
Pepper Seed is a wind at the reader’s back. It tickles, whispers, prods and shouts as we are borne from one world to the next.
PRAISE for Pepper Seed
"There is a wounded frankness here, but also a clear-eyed wondering at the roots of our miseries, as well as the imaginative resilience to transcend them." W. N. Herbert
"Malika Booker’s poems are raw as chili peppers rubbed into a wound, but what enthralls is the way she delivers her narratives in rapturous language that has the power to heal. This is poetry as revelation and prayer." Pascale Petit
"This is an auspicious and important debut, perhaps the most important in recent years." Anthony Joseph
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."