“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).

Tami Charles’ Muted explores the music industry’s dark side

Muted is the perfect verse novel for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo. A fast-paced coming-of-age story about music, the loss of innocence, and the dangers lurking in the shadows of the entertainment industry, it is the type of story that feels slightly too real and leaves you thinking long after you’re done reading. Here is the poignant story of Denver, a seventeen-year-old girl who loves music and would do anything to escape her hometown.

The Perfect Nine is the first-ever title originally written in an African language longlisted for the Booker

Having been longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize, The Perfect Nine is the first-ever title originally written in an African language to have made the cut. Wa Thiong’o is also the first to be nominated as both author and translator of the same book. A modern take on the origin story of Kenya’s Gĩkũyũ people, The Perfect Nine is one of those rare books about history that has, itself, made history.