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Contribution to Literature: Poetry

Explore the writing/voices of first generation born in the UK to Caribbean parentage – who are part the Windrush Generation.  Download the three poems here.  The information below provides an introduction to the poets and the poem they have written.   See Teachers Notes page for discussion ideas. 

Black and white photograph showing a young woman in a white dress and gloves, standing in front of a car.
Gloria St Augustine Mclaren, Windrush Migrant

Poem - Generation Dreaming 1 - By Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea is of Barbadian descent and was born and grew up in London.  She has lectured on creative arts at Leeds University. 

The poem addresses the Windrush Generation – Smartt creates a picture of her parent’s migration from Barbados to Britain, 'It links the past to the present, identity and culture' and the concept of ambition and dreams for the future in an unknow place full of promises to re-style the motherland…

From the book: Connecting Medium - Published: 2001 - Peepal Tree Press


Poem - Come What May We’re Here 2 Stay (After Windrush) - By Khadijah Ibrahiim

Khadijah is of Jamaican parentage and was born in Leeds.  She produces the Leeds Youth Poetry Slam festival and is also a playwright, and is the writer behind the theatre production 'Sorrel and Black Cake'.  

The arrival from Jamaica to England, the reader is introduced to a narrative of struggle, with questions of an unfriendly political and social environment… 'these wonderfully evocative poems which carry a rare authenticity, drawing as they do from lived experience. These are poems about family, friendships, love and survival – and ultimately a people’s growing awareness of their rights and worth in a society that barely welcomed them.' Jacob Ross

Book: Another Crossing – Published: 2014 – Peepal Tree Press


Poem - Granny’s Love Poem – By Malika Booker

Malika was born in England and has worked with organisations including the Arts Council England, the BBC and the British Council.  Her parents are of Guyanese and Grenadian descent.

The relationship of Grandmother and granddaughter. Some parents left their child for long periods of time with grandparents while they went abroad to work, sometimes parents had children in two location they become (strangers with blood ties) '…Pepper Seed is map and compass to a world of distinct yet interconnected landscapes. At home in a number of locales (Brooklyn, Brixton, Trinidad, Guyana, and Grenada) Booker trains a brave eye on the unspeakable and the unspoken. By turns bearing witness, to the interior lives of the characters that people her poems, and laying herself bare, conjuring an immediate and complex vision of the miraculous ordinary…'

Pepper Seed – Published: 2013 – Peepal Tree Press


Peepal Tree Press

The city of Leeds is home to the publishing house 'Peepal Tree Press', which specialises in publishing Caribbean and black British authors and all three of these poets' works are published by Peepal Tree.