Four poems from a digital residency

In 2022, New Writing North teamed up with the African Writers’ Trust to co-create an online residency, led by poet Nick Makoha, to invite emerging writers from England and Uganda to develop their craft in a shared, digital space.

A selected group of young poets – some curious, some more experienced – came together over the course of three months, meeting reguarly for workshops with Manchester-based poet Nick Makoha and two guest speakers, Phoebe Powers and Dr Susan Kiguli.

Below we share some of the participants’ work which was written and developed through the sessions.

  • Princess Arinola, a young black woman with long braids, leans against a railing

    Princess Arinola Adegbite

    Princess Arinola Adegbite or P.A.Bitez is a poet, lyricist, MIF artist, and filmmaker from Manchester. She has won Slambassadors, chosen by Joelle Taylor (2017), BBC Words First (2020), One Mic Stand (2021), Commonword’s Going Digital Film Competition (2021), and Manchester Creative of the Year (2021). Commissions include BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, Manchester International Festival, Selfridges, Slam-O-Vision, HOME, Brighter Sound, and the University of Cambridge. Her poems appear in the anthologies No disclaimers, Ecosystems of Fury (Young Identity’s), Where We Find Ourselves (Arachne Press), and A Poetic Declaration (Ripples of Hope). ‘The Black Box’ features on The Poetry Society website.

  • Mohan, a young, smiling black man, wears a cap and holds open a book

    Akal Mohan

    Akal Mohan is an emerging poet and writer currently residing in Kampala, Uganda. A number of his writings are soon to appear on online journals.

  • Side profile of George, a young black man with short black hair, wearing sunglasses, with blue water behind

    George Gumikiriza

    George Gumikiriza is a Ugandan poet, writer, editor and digital marketer. Winner of the inaugural 2021 Uganda Uncovered Travel Writing Competition. A fellow of the inaugural 2021 International Writing Program’s Writing and Reading Residency by African Writers Trust, to which he won a sponsorship from the University of Iowa.
    He recently made the Bold 2022 long-list, and was awarded the Akosua Zimba Scholarship for the 2022 Travel Writing masterclass taught by critically acclaimed writer Lerato Mogoathle on Lolwe Classes.
    He was also second runner-up for the 2018 Babishai Poetry Award. His works appear in Aster Lit Magazine, Jalada Africa, African Writers Trust, Uganda Uncovered, Ibua Journal and Babishai. When he isn’t preoccupied with literary activities, George divides his time between playing and training chess.

  • Jasmine, a young white woman with brown hair smiles behind an ice cream cone

    Jasmine Gray

    Jasmine Gray is a Northern writer and Writing Squad graduate with words in The London Magazine, Anthropocene, The Double Negative and others. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Let’s Photograph Girls Enjoying Life, is published with Broken Sleep Books (2019).

You can find out more about the digital residency, and listen to some highlights of the programme, below.

African Writers’ Trust X New Writing North Digital Residency

New Writing North · NWN x AWT Digital Residency: Audio Compilation

Thank you to Racheal and the team at AWT in Kampala, and to all the young writers who took part. This programme was supported by the International Literature Showcase Collaboration Fund. The International Literature Showcase is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing and the British Council.