Dr Yvonne Reddick links writers with academics
A poem published as part of a collection edited by an award-winning University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) creative writing lecturer has won a prestigious literary prize.
Malika Booker won Best Single Poem in the Forward Prizes for Poetry for a piece of work called The Little Miracles, which was published in Magma magazine after UCLan’s Dr Yvonne Reddick, and her co-editor Adam Lowe, commissioned a series of poems around exploring loss.
Malika’s poem, which was selected over 200 other entries as the winner, is one of 60 poems published in Magma that were written after Dr Reddick linked writers with UCLan academics from a variety of disciplines to explore the theme of loss.
After speaking to UCLan lecturer Lowri Dowthwaite, who specialises in positive psychological interventions, Malika was then inspired to write The Little Miracles, which looks at her experiences of caring for her mother.
Malika’s poem speaks of glimpses of hope and health, at a time when the health of so many people is at stake.
In her acceptance speech Malika Booker 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. [….] I am honoured and overjoyed to have won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2020.”
Dr Reddick, who herself runs workshops for local people to cope with grief through creative writing, said: “I am delighted that Malika’s stunning poem has received this tremendous accolade.
“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. For more information visit Magma’s website.