Poetry: Remixes and Reimagination
Ellah P. Wakatama, OBE is Editor at Large, Canongate Books Ltd., Senior Research Fellow at Manchester University (Centre for New Writing) and Chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing. She is a trustee of The Royal Literary Fund and the Caine Prize for African Writing and sits on the Advisory board for Art for Amnesty and the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Johannesburg Review of Books. She is the editor of Africa39 (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the anthology, Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction (Dundurn/Cassava Republic) and is a contributor to New Daughters of Africa (Myriad Editions, 2019). In 2017 she served as a judge for the Dublin International Literary Award and in 2015 for the Man Booker Prize. Her introduction to Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing was published by Pearson in 2012. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for services to the publishing industry and in 2016 was named one of New African Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential Africans’.
Anni Domingo has worked extensively in the UK and abroad as an actress, singer and dancer in Theatre, Radio, TV, and films. She teaches English, Drama and Creative Writing in schools and universities in the UK and works regularly as a director in the UK as well as in the USA.
Anni have written several workbooks on Shakespeare’s plays, used in many schools. Her poem ‘Empty Cradle’ is in the anthology Secret and Silent Tears published by Unthank Books, The Cutting’ is featured in the playscript of Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams, published by Samuel French. Other poems including ‘Because I am a Girl’ is in the anthology Wild Imperfections, edited by Natalia Molebatsi, published by Penguin.
Her short story ‘Empire Girl’ was shortlisted in Words and Women Fiction competition and in Words and Women Anthology One, published by Unthank books. She also has a chapter ‘The Two of Us’ in Steph Bourne’s ‘War to Windrush’ published by Jacaranda Books.
Anni’s debut novel Breaking the Maafa Chain was long listed in Mslexia and shortlisted for the Lucy Cavedish College Fiction Prize competition. She also won the Myriad Editions competition, and an extract is in the anthology ‘New Daughters of Africa’, edited by Margaret Busby, published by Myriad. 2019. Breaking the Maafa Chain was published in September 2021 by Jacaranda Books UK and by Pegasus Books early 2022. Anni is now working on ‘Ominira’, her second novel.
Rommi Smith is an award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer and librettist. A three-time BBC Writer-in-residence, she is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer-in-Residence and inaugural 21st century Poet-in-Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. A Visiting Scholar at City University New York (CUNY), she has presented her research and writing at institutions including: THE SEGAL THEATRE, THE SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE and CITY COLLEGE NEW YORK. Rommi’s performance at THE SCHWERNER WRITERS’ SERIES in New York was at the invitation of Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry.
Rommi is a Doctor of Philosophy in English and Theatre. Her academic writing was first published by NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS as part of the groundbreaking book IMAGINING QUEER METHODS (2019). Her poetry is included in publications ranging from OUT OF BOUNDS (Bloodaxe) and MORE FIYAH (Canongate).
She is recipient of a Hedgebrook Fellowship (USA) and is a winner of THE NORTHERN WRITERS’ PRIZE for Poetry 2019 (chosen by the poet Don Paterson). She was recently awarded a prestigious CAVE CANEM fellowship in the US. Rommi was selected a SPHINX30 playwright; a prestigious programme of professional mentoring for – and by – contemporary women playwrights, led by legendary company, SPHINX THEATRE.
Rommi is a contributor to BBC radio programmes including: FRONT ROW, THE VERB and the radio documentary INVISIBLE MAN: PARABLE FOR OUR TIMES?, marking 70 years since the publication of Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel.
Rommi a forthcoming poet-in-residence for the WORDSWORTH TRUST, Grasmere.