Bernard and Barokka named National Centre for Writing associate artists

Bernard and Barokka named National Centre for Writing associate artists

Ted Hughes Award winner Jay Bernard and Indonesian poet Khairani Barokka have been named associate artists at the National Centre for Writing (NCW).

Supported by by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, they will be helped to create new work, explore collaborations and work closely with the centre's audience.

Bernard is a writer from London whose Surge: Side A (Speaking Volumes) won the Ted Hughes Award in 2018. Debut collection Surge was published in 2019 and shortlisted for a string of awards.

Barokka is an Indonesian writer and artist based in London who is co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches), author-illustrator of Indigenous Species (Tilted Access), and writer of debut poetry collection Rope (Nine Arches).

She said: “I'm incredibly honoured and grateful to be Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing. This will allow me to work on writing projects—both nonfiction and poetry—that focus on honouring our bodies and communities in an unequal world, especially in the Covid-19 era.”

Bernard and Barokka will each receive a package of support that includes time-to-write funds, commission fees and residency time to the value of £10,000 to develop a new literary project.

Peggy Hughes, Programme Director at the Norwich centre, said: “NCW's associate artist programme enables us to support writers to produce new work, to use the incredible and unique space and resources at NCW to take risks, to build something new. In this challenging period, when artists' incomes and means of sharing that work have been severely impacted by COVID, this support and the safety net that allows artistic risk is more necessary than ever. We hugely admire the ambition and range and energy in the work being produced by Khairani Barokka and Jay Bernard and are extremely pleased to be working with them both.”

NCW’s first cohort of associate artists were theatre-maker Hannah Jane Walker and writer, publisher and producer Tom Chivers. Chivers, the director of literary arts company Penned in the Margins, used the opportunity to write a new play set during the British Civil Wars. Walker developed a stage show called Highly Sensitive, which premiered at the City of Literature strand of Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2019 and was turned into a feature for BBC Radio Four.