UK and International School Specialists
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Artist of the Month – Karl Nova

Our very first artist of the month is…. Karl Nova!

Karl is a fantastic asset to the Authors Abroad team who gets brilliant feedback whether he is visiting primary or secondary schools. A huge motivator and inspiration to students and a pleasure for staff. If we are having a bad day at Authors Abroad we usually look for a reason to ring Karl – talking to him just cheers you up. If you are having a down day you need a bit of Karl in your life!


About Karl

Karl Nova is one of the UK’s leading poets and hip hop artists delivering his work in his own unique, witty and energetic style

Born and raised in London as well as Lagos, Karl always found it difficult to fit in, it reflects in his music because he speaks as one who knows what it is like to be on the margins, in a world where conformity seems to be the key in gaining acceptance, he has always been one to defy expectations and go against the grain.

Whether it is in rap format or spoken word poetry he seeks to give voice to the search for meaning and deep need for faith and hope. His music and poetry is like a diary of his journey, his highs and his lows, his discoveries, observations and personal breakthroughs.

Apart from being a wordsmith and energetic live performer, Karl Nova is an avid beatmaker and he released a compilation of electronic music that he totally created on his phone called “Made ‘Em On My Phone”

Karl Nova has remained on the forefront of the scene he is a part of as a social commentator, creative writing workshop facilitator, broadcaster and cultural critic that creates platforms for other artists as he seeks to uplift, inform and inspire through this artistic expression.

What Karl offers during his visits, in his own words:

If I’m addressing the whole school in an assembly I perform a lot of the pieces from my book “Rhythm And Poetry” in a rhythmical rap style they’re familiar to engage them. For example I perform “true colours” and get them to count how many colours are mentioned in the piece. I tell them the story behind each piece and get them to analyse and dissect the themes and structure of each piece I perform.
We compare and contrast classic poems of the past with present verses from different writers. I include rap verses in this because I have knowledge about different artists so I might end up drawing out similar themes and poetic devices used by a Shakespeare and say a Dizzee Rascal.
I do a freestyle poem session where I get them choose random words and of the top of my head, in the moment I create a verse on the spot.
I get them to stand up and participate in a kind of mirror poem story performance where they repeat lines I throw out at them and get them to act it out.
I have different word games I play with them to test their intelligence and show them power of words.


When it comes to actual workshop sessions in a classroom not an assembly presentation where I have more time, I talk to them about figures of speech which I call ingredients of writing and get them to create their own pieces in different styles, sometimes in rap format, other times in prose. I give them writing tips during these sessions and feedback about what they eventually write.
I think my role is to use my written work, personality and energy to inspire them to appreciate literature and writing from an angle that is “cool” to them which most times is unexpected.

Karl’s book

Karl’s debut book ‘Rhythm And Poetry’ was released in 2017 and is illustrated by our very own Joseph Witchall.

“In Rhythm And Poetry by Hip Hop artist and poet Karl Nova the beauty of rap and lyricism and Hip Hop influenced poetry is displayed with wit, humour and positivity. His approach is to meet young people where they are and engage with the style and attitude they are familiar with. This collection reflects on his journey of growth from childhood to adulthood through the lens of hip hop culture. A lot of the verse have already impacted many lives as he travels and delivers them with his unique and energetic style.”


‘Rhythm and Poetry’ has been submitted by the Caboodle team for consideration for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award 2018, although we will not find out if he has made the shortlist until May.



What schools have said about Karl

“What a fantastic day, what a lovely person! 

Thank you so much for recommending Karl to us.  He went down a storm, the students and staff loved him.

 So much so that the Head of English has already asked me to ensure we book Karl for next year during poetry week.  

I just wanted you to know that he was brilliant. I shall be putting an article on our school website and recommending him (and yourselves) to the other school librarian in Plymouth.”


“He was absolutely superb and our students have been talking non-stop about his visit!”

Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy


“Karl was great. He related well to the children and I had good feedback from the teachers about the all sessions he did in the classrooms.”

Our lady’s RC Primary School Hereford


“We had a very positive experience with Karl Nova. I have never seen the children so engaged and enthusiastic in an author’s workshop. Karl was absolutely brilliant with the children. Children and staff have requested that we invite him back in with his new book once it is published. It was fantastic to see the children write great poetry after Karl’s visit and really enthusiastic to share them. I also received very positive feedback from other members of staff in our other partnership schools.” Teacher


Interview with Karl

Hi Karl, congratulations on being our first Artist of the Month. How would you like to introduce yourself?

My name is Karl Nova, I’m a hip hop artist, performance poet and now an author too!


How long have you been with Authors Abroad?

I’ve been with Authors Abroad since October, 2015.

Someone was needed to fill in at the last minute to visit a school and I agreed to do it. Someone referred me to them. It went so well that it began a beautiful relationship with Authors Abroad.


You have had your first book out recently – how excited are you about that? How did you find the writing process?

At first it was daunting. It’s something I had at the back of my mind to do but felt I would do it later on in life. Once I got to put it all together it was exciting. The editing process was tough though.


What moment stands out as you realising you had ‘made it’.

When I held the first copy of my book finished in my hand I felt like I was a Pulitzer Prize winner, but reality hit me and I realised I have a lot of work to do. I never feel I’ve “arrived” I always feel I’m on my way.


What do you enjoy most about school visits?

I’m a performer so I treat a school visit like a concert! I love it when poetry comes alive in the schools through the style I present. You can visibly see their minds opening up. Sometimes I get them to write and the poetry, short stories and lyrics they produce is astounding.


Most memorable moment from a school visit?

I remember going to Whitgift in Croydon for their junior literary festival last year and after I finished performing a piece, the students gave me a standing ovation and refused to stop cheering quite loudly. It was quite crazy and heartwarming at the same time!


Nicest compliment or feedback you’ve received?

I think nicest compliment or feedback I’ve gotten is from a student who said that normally he’s not into poetry at all but after my visit he wanted to write a book and actually started!


What advice would you give to aspiring poets?

As cliche as it might sound I will say write all the time. Write when the inspiration hits you. Write until your unique artistic voice begins to emerge. Study the greats and then do your own thing. My book was written mostly on my phone on long train and plane rides.


If you could impart one message to students what would it be?

I always tell students that they must understand power of words, the power of their imagination and the power of their dreams. I also tell them it’s ok to be themselves and they are unique.


When you were younger what did you want to be originally when you grew up?

I originally wanted to be a broadcaster because I watched too much MTV as a teenager and developed a crush on presenter Lisa I’Anson. This is a true story. Haha!


Current ambition and future plans?

I want to write more books and travel more. Authors Abroad got me to go to Germany and Cyprus to visit schools and those trips opened my mind up in ways I can’t even explain.



Last LOL moment?

I was in a school and a student asked me to get Rihanna’s autograph. She was convinced we are close pals even though I told her I’ve never met her

Cats or Dogs?

Wow this is actually tough! I like both. I think I will say Cats today. Ask me tomorrow it could be dogs.

Tea or Coffee

Tea! The end!

Skiing or Beach holiday?

Beach! (Preferably in a place like Cyprus lol)

Paperback book or kindle?

Paperback (even though I buy lots of books on my kindle app these days)

Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?

Hmmmmmm! I think I would to fly!

If you were Prime Minister for the day what law would you introduce?

I would make a law that every school must have funding so that authors like myself can visit all year round as a staple in the curriculum.



Arranging for Karl to visit your school

To make an enquiry about Karl Nova, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at

Karl Nova