This collection is a collaboration between The Poetry Archive and the Obsidian Foundation to recognise the importance of the inspirations, stories and social and cultural commentary that British Black Poets bring to the UK's poetry landscape. All the poems featured in this collection have been selected by the poets themselves.

The collection provides poets, teachers and visitors everywhere with an exceptional resource. It will introduce new poets and raise their profiles amongst new audiences.

This permanent collection will continue to grow into the future as the Obsidian Foundation continues its work to develop new poetic voices. We know you will love these voices and celebrate the joy and inspirations to be found here.

A Comparative History of Fire
Intimations
Fluke by Any Other Name Is a Flight Number
The Door of No Return

“The stories that are in the poems selected reflect a broad church of Black expression and add necessary nuance to the times we are living in.”

- Nick Makoha, Founder and Director, Obsidian Foundation

By Yourself Boy… (1988 – 2007)
Ghana by Air
Guerilla Garden Writing Poem 
Diptych
Afterword, London 2020
Outside St Dominic’s Priory: Snapshot, July 2015

“We believe poetry is for everyone, and we make our poetry recordings freely available so that visitors to our collections can hear how the authors read their own work.”

- Dr Tracey Guiry, Director, The Poetry Archive

Thanksgiving
Hotel Art, Barcelona
I’m good but I’m not red 
Why can’t a K be beautiful and magick?
Parasites
Hostile Environment
Jail Letter
Car Sweetness
Sandwiches
Blowing Smoke
A Gimbal of Blackness
Half a Lime

"To archive poems that may speak to current or younger generations of writers feels incredible. I’m thankful to join a list of iconic figures who inspire me to craft my work to the best it can be."

- Yomi Sode, Poet

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Interview: Inua Ellams and the clash of language.

Poets Rachel Long and Inua Ellams discuss how Inua names his poems, his writing process, and why he cherishes language. Listen to the conversation here or read the transcript.     Rachel Long: Something occurred when you were reading Inua....
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This collection will continue to evolve as we work in collaboration with the Obsidian Foundation to add work by British Black poets.

More about the Obsidian Foundation

Obsidian Foundation was founded in 2020 and hosts The Retreat for Black poets. It’s led by poet and founder Nick Makoha with Roger Robinson, Dante Micheaux, Raymond Antrobus and Malika Booker.

The Obsidian Foundation was established in 2020 to create a community of Black creative poets and provide a place for them to express themselves with freedom. A one-week retreat will be held annually for Black African, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx and African-American heritage, including those of mixed-Black heritage poets who want to advance their writing practice. Participant poets have five years to attend three Obsidian retreats, after which they become Obsidian Foundation alumni.

obsidian foundation

This project was made possible with funding from Arts Council England.

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