Essays & Criticism

2021

forthcoming

Introduction to Beloved by Toni Morrison (Vintage)
Introduction to For coloured girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf’ by Ntozake Shange (Orion)
Introduction to Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy (Faber & Faber)
Introduction to Bernard and the Cloth Monkey by Judith Bryan (1998) ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
Introduction to Minty Alley by CLR James (1936) ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
Introduction to Incomparable World by S.I. Martin (1996) ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
Introduction to The Dancing Face by Mike Phillips (1997) ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
Introduction to The Fat Lady Sings by Jacqueline Roy (2000)’ Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
Introduction to Without Prejudice by Nicola Williams (1997) ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)

2020

Foreword to Bedside Guardian, the annual Guardian anthology
Introduction to Loud Black Girls, edited by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené (HarperCollins)
‘Literature Can Foster Our Shared Humanity’, British Vogue
‘The Longform Patriarchs and their Accomplices’, The New Statesman
‘Claiming Whiteness’, The House magazine, of the (Houses of Parliament)
‘Spiritual Pick and Mix’, for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
‘Loving the Body Fat-Tastic’, for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
‘The Pro-Mask Movement’, for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
‘Gender in the Blender’, for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
‘Why Black Lives Matter’, for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
‘Theatre of Black Women: A Personal Account’, in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage, edited by Jan Sewell and Clare Smout (Palgrave Macmillan)
Foreword: ‘Re:Thinking: ‘Diversity’ in Publishing’, by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente (Goldsmiths University/Newgen Publishing UK)
‘What a Time to be a (Black) (British) (Womxn) Writer’, in Brave New Words, edited by Susheila Nasta (Myriad Editions) & exrtracted in the Guardian

2019

Tribute to Toni Morrison, Guardian
‘What a Time to be a (Black) (British) (Womxn) Writer’, in Brave New Words, edited by Susheila Nasta (Myriad Editions)
Essay in A Room of One’s Own/ Royal Society of Literature
forthcoming: Essay in Brave New Words/ Wasafiri/ Routledge
Review of The Nowhere Man by Kamala Markandaya/ Guardian
Review of Voices of the Windrush Generation, ed David Matthews/ Times Lit. Supplement
Review of Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James/ New Statesman

2018

Review of Friday Black, short stories by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brennah/ Guardian
My Summer Books’ Choice 2018/ Times Literary Supplement
Review of Heart of the Race/ Times Literary Supplement
Review of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, play at Gate Theatre/ Times Literary Supplement
Review of The One Who Wrote Destiny, a novel, by Nikesh Shukla/ Guardian
Review of The Fire This Time (essays ed Jesmyn ward) & Sing, Unburied, Sing (novel) by Jesmyn Ward/ New Statesman

2017

Review: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge/TLS
Review of Come Let Us Sing Anyway, short stories by Leone Ross/ Guardian

2016

Review of Citizen and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, poetry by Claudia Rankine/ New Statesman
Review of Another Brooklyn, a novel by Jacqueline Woodson/ Observer
Review of Speak Gigantular, short stories by Irenosen Okojie/ Guardian
Review of The Bone Readers, a novel by Jacob Ross/Guardian
Review of My Name is Leon, a novel by Kit de Waal/ Guardian
Review: Between the World and Me/The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates/ New Statesman
Piece on Orange is the New Black/ New Statesman

2015

Review of God Help This Child, a novel by Toni Morrison/ Observer
Review of Peace and Conflict, a YA novel by Irene Sabatini/ Guardian
Review: Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Comm. & The Great War, by Stephen Bourne/Independent

2014

The Annual Lecture, Literary London Conference/ IES/ University of London
The Keynote Speaker, Black British Womens’ Writing Conference/ Brighton University
The Keynote Speaker, Creative Writing Day/ Roehampton University
Review of Assatur Skakur, autobiography/ Independent
Review of A Parallel Life, a memoir by Bonnie Greer/ Independent
Review of Every Day for the Thief by Teju Cole/ Observer
Article on the pre-colonial history of homosexuality in Africa/ Guardian

2013

Article on 1980s black womens’ arts activism/ Guardian
Keynote Speaker, ‘Race, Migration, Citizenship Conference’/British Midland Institute
Chair: African Diaspora Poets, Africa Writes Festival/ British Library
Review: Mom & Me & Mom, a memoir by Maya Angelou/Observer
The Gospel According to Caine, a novel by Courttia Newland/ Guardian

2012

Light Falling on Bamboo, a novel by Lawrence Scott/ Guardian
Review: Night Dancer, a novel by Chika Unigwe/ Guardian
Review: Three Strong Women, a novel by Marie N’Diaye/ Independent
Review: Reality, Reality, short stories by Jackie Kay/ Guardian
Keynote: Global Womens Writing Conference/ Goldsmiths, University of London
Chair: Ten poets/ Victoria & Albert Museum
Chair: Ten poets/ Royal Festival Hall
Review: The Prisoner of Paradise, a novel by Romesh Gunesekera/ Guardian
Review: The Last Holiday, a memoir by Gil Scott Heron/ Independent

2011

Essay: in ‘Body of Work’, 40th anthology/ University of East Anglia
Review: The Granta Book of the African Short Story, ed Helon Habila/ Guardian
Review: ‘The Kid’, a novel by Sapphire/ Observer
Review: ‘Third World Girl’ selected poems by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze/ Independent
Review: ‘Half  Blood Blues’ by Esi Edugyan/ Guardian
Reading essay on ‘The Book that Changed Me’ series/ BBC Radio 3Piece on ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison/ Times
Review: ‘Staying Alive’ poetry anthology, ed Neil Astley / Times
Chair/Interview: EC Osondu/ Royal Festival Hall
Review: ‘Voice of America’ by EC Osondu/ Financial Times
Review: ‘Is Just a Movie’, by Earl Lovelace/ Guardian
Feature-Review: ‘The Anthology of Rap-/ Independent

2010

Review: For Coloured Girls (the film), Front Row/ BBC Radio 4
Review: Oil on Water by Helon Habila / Guardian
Review: Precious, memoir by Precious Williams/ Times
Review: Red Dust Road, memoir by Jackie Kay /Independent
Keynote: TUC – Unionlearn Conference / Congress House/ London
Chair: Orange Award for New Writers shortlisted authors / Royal Festival Hall
Chair: Precious Women of Colour Publishing Event/ Pearson, Strand/ London
Chair: Diversity Roundtable/ National Arts Strategy/ Arts Council England/ London
Talk: Non-linear narrative / Goldsmith’s College/ University of London
Talk: The Beauty of Boredom/ Keynote Speaker / ARK Schools HUB Day / London
Review: The Education of a British-Protected Child, Chinua Achebe / Independent
Talk: Mongrel Nation: A Writer’s Perspective on Britain’s DNA / Uni/Huddersfield
Talk: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, The Women’s Library/ London
Talk: Black Arts in Britain Conference / Keynote Speaker / University of Padua/Italy
Introduction to TEN poetry anthology (co-editor with Daljit Nagra) / Bloodaxe Books
Interview with playwright Kwame Kwei Armah (also co-editor w/Karen McCarthy/ Wasafiri

2009

10,000 word autobiographical literary essay /Contemporary Authors (USA)
Essay on non-fiction book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin / Times
Review of novel The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood / Financial Times
Review of novel On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe / Independent
Review of novel Jerusalem by Patrick Neate / Guardian
Memoir piece My Father’s House / Five Dials / Penguin
Article on novels as campaign tools for Campaign! / British Library
Bottom Draw / Mslexia magazine
Review of novel The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie / Times
Interview with playwright Lizzie Dijeh / Wasafiri
Four of 8-part column on creative writing / Mslexia

Host/Chair
Chair: Discussion of Hi Life by Lizzie Dijeh/ Hampstead Theatre
Host: Wasafiri 25th Anniversary Celebration – Poetry / Royal Festival Hall

2008

Review of novel A Mercy by Toni Morrison / Financial Times
Essay: CSI Europe: African Trace Elements / Wasafiri
Review of  The Mistresses Daughter by A.M. Holmes / Metro
Book of a Lifetime: The Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin / Independent
Review of poetry Bloodshot Monochrome by Patience Agbabi/ Poetry News
Review of novel The Accidental by Ali Smith / Metro
Four of 8-part column on creative writing / Mslexia

Talks
Essay: History/Belonging/ Travel @ Memory Maps Conference / Cambridge University
Essay: Derek Walcott’s Midsummer/ Newcastle University

2001 – 7

Review of novel Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb / Guardian
Review of novel Trussed by Shiromi Pinto / Independent
Review of The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan / Guardian
Review of novel Dancing in the Dark by Caryl Phillips / Times
Review of novel Borrowed Body by Valerie Mason-John / Independent
Review of novel Meet Me in Mozambique by E.A. Markham / Guardian
Review of the Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse / Guardian
Review of novel Moses, Citizen and Me by Delia Jarret-Macauley / Independent
Review of  novel Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila / Times
Review of novel A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips / Times
Review of Mixed Feelings & London Crossings / Times
Review of Reflections of Osiris by John Ray / Times
Review of The Only Way Forward…by Alice Walker / Indepdendent
Review of novel A Life Elsewhere by Segun Afolabi / Wasafiri
Review of novel All that Blue by Gaston Paul Effa / Wasafiri
Books round-up / British Council website
Article on the Free Verse poetry report / Independent
Article: The Brain Train or Club 20-80 / Independent
Book of a Lifetime piece: Antigone / Independent
Interview with Toni Morrison / South Bank Magazine
Interview with poet Fiona Sampson / Poetry News
Introduction to Contemporary British Poetry / British Council (website)
Article: Spooky Encounters in Soul Tourists / New Books Magazine
Piece Summer Read: Independent People by Halldor Laxness / Independent
Oyster Card Wallet Text / Arts Council England
Piece of Walcott for homage booklet / South Bank Centre Publications
Mixing up the Metaphors / Poetry Review
Writer’s Diary / Calabash
Essay: Origins / British Council
Essay: Writing & The Past / Pen & Inc (UEA)
Essay: The Road Less Travelled / Necessary Journeys, Arts Council England
Essay: European Odyssey/ Europa Express / Eichborn Berlin
Essay: Darling, I don’t get out of bed for less than…../ British Council
Essay: Zora Neale Hurston / Marie Claire

Talks
Essay: A Writer’s Influences / Middlesex University
Essay: Illegal Immigrant – Slipping over Borders / University of E-Nurnberg, GermanyKeynote Speaker @ Transcultural Britain / Magdeburg University
Talk on books @ Cambridge Seminar, Cambridge University, British Council
Talk on the Art of Reading / Essex Book Festival
Various talks on writing/literature to Eng Lit student / Georgetown University, Washington DC

Chair
Panel with Helon Habila, Biyi Bandele, Helen Oyeyemi/ Royal Festival Hall
Panel, Free Verse Report/ South Bank Centre
Panel with Delia Jarret-Macauley & David Nwokedi/ Royal Festival Hall
Panel with Valerie Mason-John, Diana Evans/ Cheltenham Lit Fest.

   

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