“I grew up obsessed with this alternate version of myself”: A conversation with Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo is an award-winning Sudanese-American contemporary poet and Stanford University Fellow. Author of The January Children (2017), Home is Not a Country (2021), Girls That Never Die (forthcoming), and co-editor of anthology Halal If You Hear Me (2019), her work has been recognised internationally for its originality of form and capacity for tenderness. In this interview, Safia speaks to us about the inspiration behind Home is Not a Country, her roots, and writing a world that reflects the one she grew up in.

“I’m writing the stories I need to write”: A conversation with Dean Atta

Dean Atta is a Greek-Cypriot Jamaican-British poet who was named one of the most influential LGBT people in Britain by the Independent on Sunday. Weaned on spoken word and online poetry culture, Dean rose to internet fame when he wrote a poem titled "I am Nobody's Nigger" following the death of Stephen Lawrence. On an early morning in late June, he is bright and bubbly, talking effusively about his writing and bouncing between topics with that palpable joy that is so characteristic of his work, particularly his debut novel, The Black Flamingo (2019).

“I am not a planner”: A conversation with Chibundu Onuzo

On a sweltering and slow Monday morning in mid-June, I had the privilege of chatting to the fresh-faced Chibundu Onuzo over Zoom a few days after the publication of her third novel, Sankofa (out last week with Virago). We talked about her relationship to writing as a profession, what it's like for a non-planner to fashion a novel out of a PhD, and how Sankofa relates to the cultural coordinates that orient it in modern-day Ghana.

“Black queerness gives us space to imagine”: A conversation with Hari Ziyad

One of nineteen children raised by a Hindu Hare Kṛṣṇa mother and a Muslim father, Hari’s is a coming-of-story about growing up a Black queer boy in a carceral world that criminalises Black children for existing. In this interview, the bestselling author of the debut memoir titled Black Boy Out of Time talks at length about the limitations of writing, community care, the role of theory, and the global publishing industrial complex.

“I learned to read between the lines”: A conversation with Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

We had the privilege of speaking to a veteran of historical fiction, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, whose pioneering novels have put Afro-Latinx history on the literary map. The 2009 hardcover edition of Daughters of the Stone was listed as a 2010 Finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. In this interview, she tells us more about her inspirations, the power of historical fiction, its demands on the writing process, and her forthcoming novel.