A new foundation for black poets

The Poetry Society is delighted to support a new foundation for black poets, the Obsidian Foundation, launched by award-winning poet Nick Makoha.

The Obsidian Foundation will provide a one-week retreat for black poets of African descent, who often face multiple barriers of access to literary resources and professional development.

The retreat will be led by five black acclaimed tutors and provide an opportunity to network with agents, influencers, and publishers. The retreat is based on the successful model of Cave Canem in the USA.

Nick Makoha, founder of Obsidian Foundation, said: “I had been wanting to start this project after graduating from Cave Canem feeling my duty as an alumnus to ‘pass it on’. The killing of George Floyd and the BLM movement was the trigger I needed to make it happen.

“Our mission is to create a safe space for Black poets in the UK and beyond to write with complete freedom but without the burden of identity. Through this exceptional opportunity, we provide Black poets with lifelong networks, development, and a space to excel.

“Statistical data has revealed that there is an extreme deficit in diverse voices within the UK poetry scene. Our intention is to radically challenge this by giving poets a leg up and opening doors that have been closed for too long. Our distinguished faculty are looking forward to welcoming and working with the very first cohort of poets this autumn.”

Applications close for the retreat on Sunday 15 November 2020. You can submit to the Obsidian Foundation via The Poetry Society’s Submittable

Visit the Obsidian Foundation website

27 October 2020