A poem commissioned and published by a UCLan lecturer scoops top prize

Putting her thoughts on loss into words has proved more than therapeutic for Malika Booker - it has won  her a top  literary prize.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 3:45 pm
UCLan's acclaimed author and poet, creative writing lecturer Dr Yvonne Reddick

She won the title of Best Single Poem in the Forward Prizes for Poetry for a piece of work she wrote as part of a collection edited by award-winning University of Central Lancashire author and lecturer Yvonne Reddick.

The poem, called The Little Miracles, was published in Magma magazine after Dr Reddick, and her co-editor Adam Lowe, commissioned a series of poems based on exploring loss.

Malika's poem, which was chosen from more than 200 other entries as the winner, is one of

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Malika Booker

60 poems published in Magma which were written after Dr Reddick linked writers with UCLan academics from a variety of disciplines to explore the theme of loss.

After speaking to lecturer Lowri Dowthwaite, who specialises in positive psychological interventions, Malika was inspired to write The Little Miracles about at her experiences of caring for her mother.Dr Andrew Churchill, a neuropsychologist at UCLan specialising in stroke rehabilitation, also provided perspectives on his research to the discussion with Malika.

In her acceptance speech Malika said: "The collaboration, commissioned by Adam Lowe and Yvonne Reddick for Magma’s Loss Issue, captures the way light moments can and do manifest in the midst of extreme grief and/or upheaval, and interestingly resonates during this time of Covid, lockdown, revolution and social/economical upheaval and loss."She added: " I am honoured and overjoyed to have won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2020."

Creative writing lecturer Dr Reddick runs workshops for local people to cope with grief through creative writing and said: "Malika’s poem speaks of glimpses of hope and health, at a time when the health of so many people is at stake."It was an honour to collaborate with her at UCLan and to publish the poem in Magma poetry magazine."

Lowri Dowthwaite added: "Speaking to Malika about dealing with loss and how we value emotions made me reflect on my own family relationships and the importance of appreciating the small milestone as well as the big ones. It was a great project to be involved in and I find The Little Miracles very inspirational."

Magma magazine is published three times a year and has a different editor for every issue.

During the first lock down published author and acclaimed poet Yvonne Reddick produced Poetry, Grief and Healing, which includes a collection of moving and uplifting poems by leading poets, as well as easy writing exercises to guide people through the process of writing their own poetry.

Magma magazine is published three times a year and has a different editor for each issue.