Every month Digital Women UK will host a Twitter talk (using the hashtag #DWUKTalks) on a topic that shows the link between creativity and social media, and highlights the women who are making a difference online. Joy Francis introduces our launch guest tweeters – poets Malika Booker and Toni Stuart.
Poetry is far from dead. If anything, this long-regarded craft is flourishing on social media – from Facebook and Twitter to Tumblr and Instagram. Poetry isn’t just about Wordsworth, Keats or Carol Duffy; it is performance and expression; it can be accompanied by music or illuminate a dramatic piece or, like a hip hop battle, it can pit two wordsmiths against each other – one on one or in front of an audience. This diversity of form, context and delivery has yielded some exciting poets who have embraced social media, created online communities and inspired the next generation of poets to make themselves known digitally. So how do you do it? You’ll have the chance to ask and hear from two experienced and exciting poets:
Malika Booker is a British writer, poet, playwright and multi-disciplinary artist of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage. With a career spanning 25 years, Booker is an unforgettable spoken word artist. The founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, she has represented British writing internationally, independently and with the British Council. Her first stage work Absolution was commissioned by The Austrian Cultural Institute and Apples & Snakes. Her poems are widely published in anthologies and her poetry collection Pepper Seed was published by Peepal Tree Press in 2013 and is currently longlisted for the OCM Bocas 2014 prize. Booker was inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and she was also the first British poet to be a Fellow at Cave Canem, the prestigious African American poetry body.
Toni Stuart is a poetry writer, performer and developer. Her poetry has been published in numerous anthologies including The Ground’s Ear (Quickfox Publishing, 2011) and Agenda Journal on Teenage Fertility and Desire (Unisa Press and Routledge, 2011). As a performer she was part of And the Word Was Woman Ensemble, from 2004 – 2007, with Malika Ndlovu and the 2010 Ingrid Jonker Prize winner, Tania van Schalkwyk among others. Stuart’s work uses poetry to interrogate a range of social issues such as the stories of place and displacement and gender-based violence. She is the curator of Poetica, at Open Book Festival and runs The Silence That Words Come From – writing workshops that enable people to explore their own voice. In 2013, she was named in The Mail and Guardian’s list of 200 Inspiring Young South Africans for her work in co-founding I Am Somebody! – an NGO that uses storytelling and youth development to build integrated communities.
Join in the discussion
- How to showcase your work online
- The benefits of building an online audience and community
- Tips for poets who have yet to make the digital leap
- Which digital platforms fit your artistic practice
- Building your brand online
- Creating Twitter poems
- How other poets work digitally