Following on from the launch of Shangwe's 3rd anthology, Hair Power Skin Revolution and in true Shangwe style and spirit, I hosted the first reading event at the Poetry Cafe, in Covent Garden, London, on 21st June 2010. Over 40 people attended and six contributors read a rich mix of their poems and personal essays and with an eager and interactive audience, an inspiring questions and answers session followed. The line up went as follows:
Daniella Blechner read her poem, Hair We Are, and provided a double-act, supported by Andrina George.
Nicola Greenwood read her poem, Hair Place
Cristina Odigie-Bulnes read her personal essay, Colourful Perceptions
Amanda Epe read her personal essay, Brighter Days for African Beauty
Nehanda Buchanan read her hair story, Hear My Lifetime Hair Journey
Scherin Barlow Massay read her poem, No Lye! and her personal essay, A Journey of Self Discovery.
I also read my poem, My Hair.
Judging from the positive and warm vibes in the room and the conversations I had during the break and at the end of the evening, the event was enjoyed by all, despite the nerves that a few contributors shared as they read/performed for the first time.
I felt the evening was a wonderful start to the book's reading programme, especially blending the poems with personal essays and I now have a few ideas on how to approach future readings.
Photos in ascending order:
Contributors & Nicole Moore, courtesy of Winston Greenwood.
Daniella Blechner & Andrina George
Scherin Barlow Massay
Remaining photos, courtesy of Nicole Moore