Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, moving to the UK in 1993. He holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Sheffield and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and works as a writer, events producer, and creative writing tutor.
His poems have been published in a range of magazines and anthologies including Poetry Review, Magma, Wasafiri, The Best British Poetry 2011 and 2013 (Salt Publishing, 2011 and 2013), The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt Publishing, 2011), Out Of Bounds (Bloodaxe, 2012), The World Record (Bloodaxe, 2012), and in a debut pamphlet entitled Some Bright Elegance (Salt Publishing, 2012).
Kayo has also been invited to read from his work at venues and events across the UK and internationally. In 2012 he represented Zambia at Poetry Parnassus, a festival of world poets staged by The Southbank Centre as part of the London 2012 Festival. He was recently awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and shortlisted for the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize.
Kayo teaches in the Writing School at Kingston University and in the Drama, Dance, and Speech Department at City Lit. As a creative writing tutor Kayo has devised and delivered workshops for The National Theatre, London School of Economics, Royal Shakespeare Company, YMCA, Poetry Society, English Pen, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Pop Up CIC and Apples and Snakes as well countless universities, schools, youth centres and writer’s groups across the UK and internationally. As well as poetry, Kayo leads workshops in collaborative practice, theatre, life writing, fiction, song writing and performance.
As an events producer Kayo has curated events for Hackney Council, The Freeword Centre, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Africa Centre, and Comic Relief. As an undergraduate he was co-founder of Word Life, a succesful literary and music event series based in South Yorkshire. In 2013 he co-founded The Blend a monthly arts night featuring the best in comedy, poetry, and music.
Kayo will be performing at our Spoken Word Night on Sunday 2nd of August.