Khairani Barokka (b. Jakarta, 1985) is a writer, poet and artist in London. She’s a practice-based researcher, whose work centres disability justice as anti-colonial praxis. Among her honours, she was Modern Poetry in Translation’s Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, the first non-British Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing, and an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow, and is currently UK Associate Artist at Delfina Foundation and Research Fellow at University of the Arts London.
Okka is the writer/performer/producer of, among others, a deaf-accessible, solo poetry/art show, Eve and Mary Are Having Coffee. It premiered at Edinburgh Fringe 2014 as Indonesia’s only representative, with a grant from HIVOS. She was recognized in 2014 by UNFPA as one of Indonesia’s “Inspirational Young Leaders Driving Social Change”, for highly prolific, pioneering international work in justice-oriented arts.
Published internationally in anthologies and journals, Okka has presented work extensively, in fifteen countries, is a frequent public speaker, and has been awarded various residencies, grants and award nominations, including a Pushcart Prize nomination. She is author and illustrator of poetry-art book Indigenous Species, nominated for a Goldsmiths Public Engagement Award (Tilted Axis Press, 2016; Vietnamese translation out in 2018 with AJAR Press), author of poetry collection Rope (Nine Arches Press, 2017), co-editor with Ng Yi-Sheng of HEAT: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology (Fixi, 2016), and co-editor, with Sandra Alland and Daniel Sluman, of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press, 2017), shortlisted for a Saboteur Award for Best Anthology and a Poetry School Book of the Year. Work is published in Poetry Review, The Rialto, Ambit, Magma, Wasafiri, Stand, The New Inquiry, Asymptote, and other journals, anthologies and art books. She is a member of the collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and received a PhD by Practice in Goldsmiths’ Visual Cultures Department, as an LPDP Scholar. Okka is currently working on a book and visual works. Her most recent commission is a large-scale digital collage and poetry series for Wellcome Collection. Her latest book, poetry collection Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches Press) was published in March 2021, and was shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize.