In 1998, Lemn Sissay curated The Fire People: A Collection of Black British and Asian Poetry. The anthology ignited a movement and paved the way for the Black British poetry scene that thrives today. It celebrated the rising stars of the time, many of whom have since become established names, and inspired many more.
Today, over twenty years on, Kayo Chingonyi is continuing this legacy by bringing together his dream mixtape of Black British poets in More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry. This scorching new collection passes the torch to the next generation to create, thrive and inspire.
These anthologies are a celebration of Black British poetry and the crosscurrents that join music, performance and verse.
We want to ensure this event is accessible to everyone who wants to attend, while ensuring the essential costs can be covered. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, and if this is a barrier for you please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fire People: A Collection of British Black and Asian Poetry and More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry are published by Canongate. Copies will be available to buy from Arnolfini Bookshop on the night.
Kayo Chingonyi is the author of Kumukanda, which won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre First Poetry Collection Prize, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Jhalak Prize. His latest collection is A Blood Condition. He has performed his work at festivals and events around the world, is outgoing Poetry Editor for The White Review, an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University, and a writer and presenter for Decode.
Vanessa Kisuule is a writer and performer based in Bristol. She has won over ten slam titles including the Roundhouse Slam 2014, Hammer and Tongue National Slam 2014 and the Nuyorican Poetry Slam. She has been featured on BBC iPlayer, Radio 1, and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Blue Peter and TEDx in Vienna. She has been invited to perform nationally and internationally, from Belgium to Brazil to Bangladesh. Her poem on the historic toppling of Edward Colston’s statue, ‘Hollow’, went viral in the summer of 2020. She has two poetry collections published by Burning Eye Books and her work was highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prize Anthology 2019. She was the Bristol City Poet for 2018-2020 and is currently working on her debut novel.
Image credit: Jon Aitken.
Eric Ngalle Charles is a Cameroon-born, Wales-based writer, poet, playwright, actor and activist. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University. His autobiography, I, Eric Ngalle, was published by Parthian Books. He was selected by Jackie Kay as one of the UK’s top ten BAME writers.
Kim Squirrell was born in 1958 of Kittitian and Irish heritage. She is a visual artist and writer of poetry and short fiction. Her work, inspired by cultural and personal history, has appeared in Poetry Review, Riptide, Stand, Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe, 2012) and Resist (Comma Press, 2019).
Image credit: Dave Green