Jay Bernard

One of Jackie Kay’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase



“Their poems sing with outrage and indignation, with fury and passion…They have brio, they have brilliance, they are breathtakingly brave.”

Jackie Kay


Interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive

Jay Bernard (FRSL FRSA) is a writer from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive. They won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981.

Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively), Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row.

Their first collection, Surge, is out with Chatto and Windus in 2019.

Top image copyright Joshua Virasami.

Read an interview with Jay in The Guardian


Collections & single-author pamphlets

  • Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl (Tall Lighthouse, 2008)
  • English Breakfast (Math Paper Press, 2013)
  • The Red and Yellow Nothing (Ink, Sweat and Tears Press, 2016)
  • Other Ubiquities (2017)
  • Surge (2018)


Surge: Side A (2017)


Something Said (2017)

Anthologies & collections

  • City State (2009)
  • ‘Black Britain: Beyond Definition’, Wasafiri (2010)
  • The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt, 2011)
  • Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe, 2014)

Contact Jay



Twitter: @brrnrrd


For all bookings and enquiries about readings and events please contact Mia Quibell-Smith

For queries about presentations and performances of Surge please contact Speaking Volumes

For queries about screening Something Said please contact: [email protected]