Rising Stars
Ruth Awolola, Abigail Cook, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Jay Hulme, Amina Jama

Ages: 11-14

An Afro hair haiku and a love letter to the stars; a brother who makes you brave and a 24-hour happiness drive-through; aliens, aunties, parakeets - and peas.

Poems about community, identity, family, friends, the universe, and more! Don't miss this rich and exciting debut from five fantastic young poets, all rising stars.

Rising Stars is a showcase of – and a platform for – some of the most brilliant emerging young poets writing today. We can’t pretend to have discovered them; with the help of Joelle Taylor, poet and director of SLAMbassadors UK, Pop Up and Otter-Barry Books tapped into the UK’s spoken word community, where we wanted to find writer-performers interested in making the journey into poetry for young readers. We most certainly found what we were looking for!


CLiPPA award-winning poet Kate Wakeling says:

“A vibrant anthology of fresh new voices. Here are five poets unafraid to tackle the big themes, each writing with wit, poise, power and heart.”



This collaboration is supported by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts programme.

Black and white illustrations are by final year students from Birmingham City University: Riya Chowdhury, Elanor Chuah & Joe Manners.

Find classroom resources for Rising Stars here!


Read the latest review of this book!
Winning reviews by pupils appearing here soon

Rising stars cover final
Amina jama   my cousin's clothes
Victoria adukwei bulley   this poem is not about parakeets
Jay hulme   i thought i was small
Ruth awolola   wolves
Abigail cook   rise   storm of a girl

about the authors

Ruth Awolola

Ruth Awolola is a student, youth worker and poet currently based in south-east London. Born in 1998, she has been writing since 2015 and in that year she was a winner of SLAMbassadors. At the...

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Abigail Cook

Abigail Cook is a performance poet from London. Born in 1997, she is a 2015 SLAMbassadors winner and has performed at the Southbank Centre. She is the recipient of a scholarship at Guildhall School...

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Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-Ghanaian poet, writer and filmmaker, born in 1991. A former Barbican Young Poet, her work has been commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, and has also...

Victoria adukwei bulley photo

Jay Hulme

Jay Hulme is a Transgender performance poet from Leicester. Born in 1997, he’s a winner of SLAMbassadors 2015, and a finalist in the 2016 Roundhouse slam. He has self-published two solo...

Jay hulme photo

Amina Jama

Amina Jama is a Somali-British writer and is Roundhouse/BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Words First London finalist. Born in 1997, Amina was raised in Bow, east London and is a member of collectives...

Amina jama photo

Schools reading Rising Stars near you