Serena Malcolm

Poet & Writer

Where it began

I have been writing poetry since I was seven years old.  Truth be told, I don’t actually remember life without it.  It is part of who I am.  As an introvert it is how I communicate, how I makes sense of my emotions and of people, and how I tell others who I am.

I have drawn influences from many different poetic styles over the years from haiku, to iambic pentameter, to rap – yes rap! But it only really in ye last 3 years my styles has settled into something more recognisable, something others can read and know it was written by me. It took 3 decades of writing in silence to finally find my voice.

My History

I grew up in south London, the daughter of a Sierra Leonean teacher and a Bajan nurse.  Surrounded by my father’s side of the family, I felt as if I was part of an African matriarchy with  incredibly strong and inspiring women, and smart, sensitive, and responsible men.

I am proud of my mixed heritage and of the positive role models I was afforded whilst growing up.  

I was taught that respect, education, and kindness are vital, and that above all family is everything.

My Journey

I have faced many struggles including an identify crisis as a result of my mixed heritage, mental health issues in the form of depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia and sexual and emotional abuse. I am a survivor.  It has made me acutely aware and empathetic to the pain of those around me and to the crises of the world. I often seek to address and redress these difficult topics in my poetry.  Sometimes sharing is uncomfortable and daunting but it is so, so important. 

And nothing good ever came from a comfort zone.