Zone In Sofa Sessions are introducing young people to some of the UK’s more exciting poets – just head over to our IGTV to view the session, with performances from Mary Jean Chan, Yomi Sode and Ioney Smallhorne.
Meet the poets
Mary Jean Chan is the author of Flèche (Faber 2019), which won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2020 International Dylan Thomas Prize.
In 2019, Chan received an Eric Gregory Award. In Spring 2020, she was guest co-editor at The Poetry Review. Chan is Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and lives in London.
Yomi Sode is a Nigerian British writer, performer, facilitator and Complete Works Alumni. He has read poems at Lagos International Poetry Festival, Afrika Fest with Speaking Volumes in Finland, the New York Public Library with the British Council and at Edinburgh International Book Festival.
His writing has been published in Rialto Magazine, Bare Lit Anthology, 10: Poets of the New Generation Anthology, Tales of Two Londons Anthology and the upcoming Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, Magma and The Poetry Review.
In 2019 Yomi was awarded one of three Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships.
COAT, Yomi’s first one-man show, has toured nationally to sold-out audiences and he is currently working on his first poetry collection and second show.
Ioney Smallhorne is a writer, poet, film maker and educator, born and bred in Nottingham. Her performances are occasionally funny, sometimes vulnerable, and tend to blend the personal with the political. She earned a MA in Creative Writing & Education from Goldsmiths University in 2019. As a Spoken Word Educator, she works across the East Midlands encouraging young people to harness the power of poetry to realise their own greatness. She had been longlisted for the Jerwood Fellowship 2017 and shortlisted by Caribbean Small-Axe Prize 2016. She has performed her poems across the country, a highlight being 2012 London Paralympic Games. Ioney is currently working on her first poetry anthology with Peepal Tree Press.