Poetry at Arnolfini

Arnolfini has a long tradition with the spoken word and poetry.

Here are a selection of more recent offerings.


    Sophia Harari is a writer, poet and musician creating content surrounding identity and self-expression. She is part of Creative Futures, the developing talent programme at Creative Youth Network, which provides emerging artists and creatives with support to establish their careers and make new work.

    Arnolfini Project: Two Worlds Collide
    Arnolfini approached Sophia to creatively respond to Hassan Hajjaj: The Path.

    Two Worlds Collide is an exploration of her identity, considering the duality of her Moroccan-ness and Blackness and questions how they inform one another.

  • Malaika Kegode

    Malaika Kegode is a poet and performer based in Bristol. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize. She was also included in the 2019 BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential Black and Minority Ethnic people. Malaika’s work tells of how we can find beauty and hope through the darkness. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength.

    Malaika wrote three especially commissioned poems for Arnolfini to reflect a period of evolution at the organisation in 2019.

  • Salena Godden FRSL

    Salena Godden is a high-profile poet and writer who appears regularly on BBC radio and television and at international poetry and book festivals. She is a broadcaster, essayist and memoirist whose work has been widely shared and anthologised. The Royal Society of Literature elected her as a fellow FRSL in November 2020.

    Throughout 2018 her poem Pessimism is for Lightweights was displayed at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol for the year. This poem has been donated to The People's History Museum, Manchester where it is on permanent display. The poem was unveiled in February 2020 to mark the museum's 10th birthday.

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