Inua Ellams


Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist & designer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and his published books of poetry include Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales, The Wire-Headed Heathen, #Afterhours and The Half-God of Rainfall – an epic story in verse. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his fourth Barber Shop Chronicles sold out two runs at England’s National Theatre. He is currently touring An Evening With An Immigrant and completing his first full poetry collection The Actual. In graphic art & design, online and in print, he tries to mix the old with the new, juxtaposing texture and pigment with flat shades of colour and vector images. He lives and works from London, where he founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Source

Fuck / Shakespeare

And another thing / the grace you brought Othello / how you forged that moor / got him talking down his eloquence as if his tongue wasn’t part swan feather / part molasses / how you wrote a church of darkness steepled by Iago / and Ol’ Thello its soul / beacon of honor and light / Bruh / that shit literary fire / race-theory brimstone / middle-passage gold


but /


how you played Caliban / his tongue as Othello’s / and just as wronged / How you imbibed him with / emblemed him of colonized peoples / got me all riled up / imagining my ancestor’s vengeance / a rough blade thrust through Prospero’s proud heart / but you didn’t / Play ends / Cali still enslaved / Bruh / that shit fucked





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Education & Learning

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


a break between words within a metrical foot


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic