Dean Atta is a British author from London. He is a Malika's Poetry Kitchen member, National Poetry Day ambassador and LGBT+ History Month patron. Dean’s poems have been highly commended by the Forward Prizes for Poetry and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition. His books have been praised by the likes of Bernardine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah and Malorie Blackman.

Dean's debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger (The Westbourne Press, 2013), was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His debut young-adult novel in verse, The Black Flamingo (Hodder Children’s Books, 2019), won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award, CILIP Carnegie Shadowers Choice Award, West Sussex School Librarians' Amazing Book Awards, What Kids are Reading Quiz Writers’ Choice Award and was shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Reader Award, CILIP Carnegie Medal, Jhalak Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and The Bookseller's YA Book Prize.

Dean has been commissioned to write poems for BBC World Service, Dazed & Confused, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Theatre of Scotland, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. His writing has been published in over 50 anthologies, magazines and journals, including Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood (Delacorte Press, 2021), Happy Here: 10 stories from Black British authors & illustrators (Knights Of, 2021) and Proud: Stories, Poetry and Art on the Theme of Pride (Stripes, 2019).

Dean holds an MA Writer/Teacher from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA Philosophy & English from the University of Sussex. He has over a decade of experience facilitating poetry workshops in schools, colleges and universities, as well as for companies and organisations, such as Allsorts Youth Project, The Anne Frank Trust UK, Apple, Apples and Snakes, Arvon Foundation, Body & Soul, the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, First Story, Glasgow Libraries, Heart n Soul, Govanhill Baths Community Trust, Keats House Museum, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, Lyric Hammersmith, the National Literacy Trust, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), New Writing South, Poetry School, The Poetry Society, The Proud Trust, Roundhouse, Scottish BAME Writers Network, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Poetry Library, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Thomson Reuters, Turner Contemporary, Waitrose & Partners and YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People.

Dean has performed across the UK at festivals such as Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, Brighton Fringe, Cheltenham Book Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Hay Festival, Latitude Festival, London Literature Festival, Paisley Book Festival, Queer Contact, Reading is Magic Festival, Secret Garden Party, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Verve Poetry Festival and Wigtown Book Festival. He has also performed internationally at the Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (Italy), CrossKultur (Germany), International Festival of Authors, PuSh Festival and Vancouver Writers’ Festival (Canada), Kolkata Literary Festival and Mathrubhumi International Festival Of Letters (India), Ordspark (Sweden), Schomburg Center Literary Festival and Unbound Book Festival (United States) and Word N Sound (South Africa).


YA novels in verse:

  • Only on the Weekends (Hodder Children’s Books, 2022)

  • The Black Flamingo (Hodder Children’s Books, 2019)

Poetry collections:

  • There is (still) love here (Nine Arches Press, 2022)

  • I Am Nobody’s Nigger (The Westbourne Press, 2013)


  • Where We Find Ourselves: Poems and Stories of Maps and Mapping from UK writers of the global majority (Arachne Press, 2021)

  • Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different: Poems from Malika's Poetry Kitchen (Corsair, 2021)

  • Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood (Delacorte Press, 2021)

  • Happy Here: 10 stories from Black British authors & illustrators (Knights Of, 2021)

  • Everything is Going to be All Right: Poems for When You Really Need Them (Trapeze, 2021)

  • Metaphors for a Black Future (Scottish BAME Writers Network, 2021)

  • 2020 Mixtape: Writers of Colour Audio Anthology (Scottish BAME Writers Network, 2020)

  • The Last Good Year: New Writing Scotland 38 (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2020)

  • Handbook for 2021: The Bread & Rose Poetry Award Anthology (Culture Matters, 2020)

  • Future: Book Week Scotland 2020 Anthology (Scottish Book Trust, 2020)

  • In Other Words (Metal Culture, 2020)

  • Neu Reekie Untitled Three (Polygon, 2020)

  • Field Notes on Survival (Bad Betty Press, 2020)

  • Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown (Cranachan Publishing, 2020)

  • SLAM! You're Gonna Wanna Hear This (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2020)

  • The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century (Nine Arches Press, 2019)

  • Islands are but Mountains: New poetry from the United Kingdom (Platypus Press, 2019)

  • Poems from a Green and Blue Planet (Hodder Children’s Books, 2019)

  • Anti-Hate Anthology (Spoken Word London, 2019)

  • Proud: Stories, Poetry and Art on the Theme of Pride (Stripes, 2019)

  • Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain (The Emma Press, 2018)

  • The Dizziness of Freedom: A Poetry Anthology on Mental Health (Bad Betty Press, 2018)

  • Words That Burn (Amnesty International UK, 2017)

  • Give the Ball to the Poet (Bounce Bookshelf, 2014)

  • Black & Gay in the UK (Team Angelica Publishing, 2014)

  • Flight: Pt 1: An Anthology of New Writing (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2009)

Magazines and journals:



  • Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)

  • Children’s Books North 

  • The Black Writers’ Guild 

  • Glasgow Children’s Writers Group 

  • Malika's Poetry Kitchen

  • Public Library Remuneration (PLR)

  • The Scottish BPOC Writers Network (SBWN)

  • The Society of Authors (SoA)