Calling all book lovers! The UK’s biggest annual African literature and book festival, Africa Writes, is taking place this weekend (Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July 2017) at the British Library in London, bringing together more than 60 of the most influential voices in contemporary writing from Africa and its diaspora.
Organised by the Royal African Society, visitors will enjoy all things literary, from book launches [look out for our review of Olumide Popoola new book, When We Speak of Nothing, soon], panel discussions to performances and workshops. #AfricaWrites2017 aims to connect African, British and diaspora writers to diverse UK audiences, bringing contemporary African writing to the fore.
Headlining the event this year (on Sunday) is the prolific Congolese writer and academic Alain Mabanckou. His writing has received numerous awards and accolades such as the Académie Française’s grand prix for a lifetime’s achievement. His latest novel, Black Moses, was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt and long-listed for this year’s Man Booker International Prize.
The event kicks off on Friday evening (30 June) with a R.A.P. (Rhythm And Poetry) party hosted by Inua Ellams and Theresa Lola which will showcase the hip-hop inspired poems and songs of Malika Booker, Kei Miller, Amaal Said (featured in our cover image), Yomi Sode and more. Dj Sid Mercutio will be on the decks spinning a mix of afrobeat, funk and afro-house tunes.
Sunday’s schedule will be all about African literary joy as visitors can delve into the archives of the renowned Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta, discovering photographs, manuscripts and a remarkable personal history of a beloved literary icon. Look out for more in our upcoming feature on Buchi Emecheta.
Another highlight will see the popular hosts of the Mostly Lit podcast, Alex Reads, Reckless Rai and Derek W who will be hosting a live show on ‘Writing Blackness’. The trio will reflect on their own personal experiences and responses to reading black characters as depicted in African and Black British fiction.