Sunday, 18 July 2010

Hair Power - Skin Revolution: 2nd Book Reading

The second Hair Power – Skin Revolution book reading event was held on 17th July 2010, at the Poetry Cafe, in Covent Garden, London, co-hosted by myself and Nicola Greenwood.

Two contributors Anduosjahla James-Wheatle and Yolande Deane read their hair story and personal essay from the book’s hair section. I participated in an in-depth interview (questions courtesy of Pauline Walker, anthology contributor and contributor to the Catchavibe website). I also read my personal essay and two poems from the skin section. The line up went as follows:

Anduosjahla James-Wheatle read her hair story,
My Journey to Me
Co-Host Nicola Greenwood interviewed me on the following questions:

1. Why did you choose the themes of hair and skin?
2. You’ve previously published two other anthologies showcasing the writing of black and mixed-race women Brown Eyes and Sexual Attraction Revealed. What is it about anthologies that you like?
3. What is it about the form of the personal essay and poetry that appeals to you over creative forms such as short stories and novels?
4. Your book comes out at a time when there seems to be more interest in black women and how they manage their hair, for example, the recently released Chris Rock documentary Good Hair lifts the lid on how African-American women manage their hair. Why do you think this is?
5. Do you think the book should be required reading for young girls and teenagers in today’s society?
6. What’s the difference between the Hair Stories section and the Personal Essay’s section on hair?

Yolande Deane read her hair essay,
Still a Bird…but not a Robin
Nicola Greenwood read her hair poem, Hair Place
I read my skin essay, Are You Black or White? And 2 skin poems: Lost for Words; Skin

The event was well attended with inspiring questions and debate received from a lively and interactive audience. I felt encouraged not only by the inspirational and vibrant energy in the room, but also by the audience’s suggestions that I make contact with comic Chris Rock, or at least send him a publicity leaflet, (which was something that I had recently discussed with Nicola Greenwood) – along with Gok Wan; who knows we just might generate some interest! Again, thanks to the anthology's contributors who read and to co-host Nicola Greenwood for ensuring that the evening was a wonderful creative expression of the book's reading programme.

Photos in ascending order:

1.Yolande Deane, Nicole Moore,
Nicola Greenwood, & Anduosjahla James Wheatle.
2.Anduosjahla James Wheatle.
3.Yolande Deane.

Photo 1: Courtesy of Amanda Epe
Photos 2 & 3: Courtesy of Nicole Moore

The interview referred to above is now online here:

Mixed-Race & the Arts

I was invited to speak at the People in Harmony Annual Conference: 'Mixed Race & The Arts', held on 17th July 2010 at Ealing Friends Meeting House, West London. The event was opened and chaired by Vicki Hart-Dale. Speakers on the conference schedule were:

Tones and Textures Tenee Attoh
Cast a poem performed by Amaka Okafor
'A Socio-Genetic Experiment': Hip Hop and the 'Mixed-Race' Experience Dr Kevin Searle
Hidden Secrets of the Past: Unveiling of the Casta Paintings Tara Munroe
The Threads of My Journey Gloria Ojulari Sule

My presentation, The Journey So Far, explored my writing journey, which started in 1995 and I shared how despite the odds against getting my work published, I decided to tackle the publishing side of things myself, with the support of grants from the Arts Council.

It was a relaxing event, full of inspiration and positive vibes and I felt it was a rare experience to meet and network with such likeminded, yet unique mixed-race individuals.

For more information contact:

Photo courtesy of Tenee Attoh
Left to right: Kevin Searle, Amaka Okafor, Nicole Moore, Vicki Hart-Dale & Tara Munroe (Inset: Nicole Moore)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hansib Publications

Do you have a manuscript to publish?

Novel; Short Stories; Thesis; Poetry

Why not send Hansib Publications your submissions for consideration?


In 2010, Hansib Publications celebrates the 40th anniversary of its publishing activities. The company was founded in 1970 by Guyana-born Arif Ali following the sale of his north London-based West Indian food business. The following year the company launched its first title (the monthly magazine West Indian Digest) and since then has published magazines, newspapers and books for Britain's 'visible' minority communities. Hansib Publications continued to expand its multicultural publishing activities and, from the beginning of the 1970s, produced newspapers, magazines and periodicals for Britain's Caribbean, Asian and African communities. These titles included Caribbean Times, Asian Times, African Times, Asian Digest, Roo Magazine and West Indian World.

Since the beginning of the 1980s, Hansib has published more than two hundred books and specialist titles. With forty years' experience in multicultural publishing, Hansib Publications is widely acknowledged as having established regular visible minority publishing in the UK.

Hansib books are available throughout the UK in bookshops, libraries, schools, colleges, universities, specialist outlets and online from A growing network of distributors in the Caribbean and North America has ensured that Hansib books are available in many countries, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.

Contact details:

Hansib Publications, PO Box 226, Hertford, SG14 3WY
T: +44 (0)208 523 0888