Nicole Sealey Readings & Workshops

Nicole Sealey Readings & Workshops

'This is poetry as truth, both literal and emotional. This is not a redaction, but a speaking up. A testimony ... The Ferguson Report: An Erasure is a masterclass in found poetry, and a testament to the power of poetry as a visual form. Nicole Sealey is unafraid of taking up space, of wielding the silence of others as a ‘Blunt / force to be reckoned with’. This is essential reading.’ – Ellora Sutton, Mslexia


Nicole Sealey's debut collection Ordinary Beast was first published in the US by Ecco in 2017, and was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. The first UK edition of Ordinary Beast was published by Bloodaxe in September 2023 at the same time as Nicole Sealey's second book of poetry, The Ferguson Report: An Erasure, an excerpt from which won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2021.

Nicole Sealey was born in St Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, and raised in Apopka, Florida. She is a visiting professor at Boston University and teaches in the MFA Writers Workshop in Paris program at New York University. In 2017, she started The Sealey Challenge, an annual online community challenge to read one book of poetry each day for the month of August.

'Redacting the report word by word, letter by letter, Sealey excavates larger lyric insights about American life from its account of police bias and brutality.'The New Yorker (The Best Books of 2023)

'Sealey takes the US justice department’s investigation into the titular city’s police department after the 2014 killing of Michael Brown by one of its officers, then erases most of its words to reveal the underlying violence. Individual letters are picked out to form fragments, ratcheting up the tension as the eye moves down the page: “use-of-force. Force / of habit. Of nature. Force / feed. Force down. Force / his hand. Force in line”. From the strangulated legalese emerges a bleak, shocking beauty.' – Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian (Poetry Books of the Month), on The Ferguson Report: An Erasure






Nicole will be in the UK this February to lead a workshop and read at two events for the 2024 Verve Poetry Festival in Birmingham. Tickets for all of these, as well as weekend, day and online passes, can be found on the Verve website here.  She is also giving an online Workshop via Zoom on 5 February ahead of the festival.


Friday 23 February, 4pm

Nicole Sealey Workshop – Seeing is Believing: Drafting the Lasting Image

Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, Workshop Room 2

Tickets: £22.50 (concessions £17.50). More details and booking here.


Saturday 24 February, 5.30pm

Saturday Night Headline Event

Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, Patrick Studio

Nicole will be reading at the Saturday headline event alongside Rebecca Goss and Alice Hiller, hosted by Jo Bell.

Tickets: £8 (concessions £6). More details and booking here.  In-person and livestream tickets available.


Sunday 25 February, 1pm

Nicole Sealey reading and in conversation with Roy McFarlane

Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, Patrick Studio

Nicole will be reading from and discussing The Ferguson Report: An Erasure at this event. 

Tickets: £8 (concessions £6). More information and booking here.

In-person and livestream tickets available.




Live-streamed launch reading by Jen Campbell, Courtney Conrad and Nicole Sealey, 19 September 2023

Jen Campbell, Courtney Conrad and Nicole Sealey launched their new poetry collections at Bloodaxe's live-streamed launch event on Tuesday 19 September 2023. All three poets read live and discussed their new collections with each other and with the host, fellow Bloodaxe poet John Challis. Courtney Conrad's pamphlet I Am Evidence is published as the winner of the 2022 Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition, judged by Imtiaz Dharker.

Now available to watch on our YouTube channel:

[18 January 2024]

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