Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival to write a new series of poems exploring the impact of solitude during the pandemic, touching on themes of the inner and physical self, friendship, joy and imagination as a coping tool. He performed his poems for the first time in an #MLF21 online event with fellow poet Vanessa Kisuule in April 2021. You can download a PDF of Caleb’s new commission.

A rising star on the British poetry scene, Caleb Femi’s debut collection Poor considers what it is to be a young, working class Black man, living in South London in the 21st Century. One of two poets shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize, Max Porter describes him as ‘a poet of truth and rage, heartbreak and joy.’ Caleb is a poet and director and has previously been commissioned by organisations including the BBC, Channel 4, Tate Modern and The Guardian. From 2016 – 2018, he was the Young People’s Laureate for London.

This commission was supported by an award from the DCMS Culture Recovery Fund.