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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: Bristol City Council & BANES Council: Joint News Release 14/06/2013

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bristol City Council & BANES Council: Joint News Release 14/06/2013

culled from http://www.yardstick.org.uk
Bristol and Bath host the best of Black Writers’ Festival
An impressive array of international writing talent comes to the
Bristol and Bath area this month in a festival which celebrates
literature from around the world.
A dozen of the best writers and performance poets from across the
African Diaspora will be taking part in the Yardstick Festival in
Bristol and Bath libraries from June 27 to 30.

Prestigious authors at the festival will include Lorna Goodison, Tanya
Shirley, Geoffrey Philp (all Jamaican), Lemn Sissay (British Ethiopian),
Warsan Shire (Somali), Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Kenyan), Nick Makoha (Ugandan),
Leeto Thale (South African) and Jamala Safari (Congolese).
Also taking part will be Emman Egya Sule (Nigerian), Nii Ayikwei Parkes
(Ghana), Dean Atta (British Jamaican) and Chioma Okereke (Nigerian)
Lorna Goodison, Jamaica 50 Cultural Medal of Honour recipient and
festival patron, will headline the opening event at Bath Central Library
on Thursday, June 27, followed with Yardstick’s Griot
Globetrotters group performance in Bristol on Friday, June 28 and Bath
on Saturday, June 29. Lemn Sissay at Bristol Central Library will
headline the final day on Sunday, June 30. The closing event is a VIP
After-show late evening party with poet Dean Atta
The festival will also include a series of thought-provoking panel
discussions. These will include Rural v Urban, chaired by Chino Odimba
(Bristol, June 28), Lost in Translation, chaired by Dee Jarrett-Macauley
(Bath, June 29), and Black Publishing chaired by Richard Jones (Bristol,
June 30).
There will also be two writing workshops on Friday, June 28. Warsan
Shire and Chioma Okereke will be at City Academy, Redfield.  Geoffrey
Philp and Jamala Safari will work with students at North Bristol Post-16
Centre, Cotham. The centre is providing up to 16 volunteers for the
Councillor David Dixon, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s
Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “For the second year running,
Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to welcome inspirational
writers and enthusiastic audiences to Bath Central Library for the
Yardstick Festival. We’re also presenting a ‘sound portrait’ by
Karen Wallis, on Sunday, June 30 at 2pm – a free event at the library
which offers a fascinating insight into Fairfield House; the place where
Haile Selassie lived during his exile from Ethiopia, and which is now
used by Bath minority and ethnic groups.”
Councillor Gus Hoyt, Assistant Mayor with responsibility for
Neighbourhoods, Environment and Council Housing, for Bristol City
Council, said: “This is a thrilling line-up of talent and I’m very
pleased that Bristol will be co-hosting this event with Bath.
“It’s also a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and explore the work
of authors, poets and performers from across the African diaspora.”
Richard Dowden, Director of The Royal African Society, said: “We are
thrilled to be working with Yardstick Festival this year to bring some
of the best African authors and literature to Bristol and London, and we
look forward to an enduring partnership”
Emma D’Costa (Commonwealth Writers) said: ”Commonwealth Writers is
delighted to partner with Yardstick to celebrate the writers E.E. Sule
from Nigeria and Jamala Safari from South Africa. The festival is a
great opportunity for them to engage with other writers across the
African Diaspora in an inspiring programme of events. This year, both
writers were recognised by the Commonwealth Book Prize and Yardstick is
an important platform for them to reach out to a wider audience.”
Photographers are invited to attend:
1. The Yardstick launch reception at the Guildhall, Bath, at 6pm on
Thursday, June 27, attended by the Chair of BANES
2. A writing workshop by Warsan Shire who will be joined by Nigerian
poet and novelist Chioma Okereke at the City Academy Bristol at 11am on
Friday, June 28
3. A Lord Mayor’s reception held at Bristol Mansion House at 3.30pm
on Friday 28th June, where the Lord Mayor will be hosting Yardstick
authors in the festival for afternoon tea
For further information about the Yardstick festival please contact
Asif Khan, Library Community Engagement Coordinator, on 0117 9037 218,
Note to the Editor:
Yardstick is an initiative, supported by Arts Council England, for
developing Black writers and audiences through spoken word performances,
discussion panels and creative writing workshops.
Yardstick seeks to create and promote a platform for African Diaspora
literature and cultural themes, in public venues and spaces, such as
Bristol Central Library and Bath Central Library will host this
year’s festival. This year Yardstick is partnering with Africa
Writes and Commonwealth Writers Prize.
1. Yardstick’s full programme and ticket information can be found at
2. Yardstick festival patrons are Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison and
Barbadian Alissandra Cummins, chair of UNESCO’s Executive board. The
festival partnership involves Bristol Libraries, Bath & North East
Somerset Library Service, Plymouth Library Service and City Chameleon
Ltd – who supported the programming.
3. Yardstick 2013 was awarded  £44,500 from Arts Council England’s
Grants for the arts.
4. Africa Writes is the UK’s largest festival of African Literature,
with performances, discussions and workshops taking place at the British
Library and Rich Mix in London. This year the festival runs from July 5
to 7 and includes a book fair, where you can buy and get signed copies
of books by participating authors, and a market with stalls selling
delicious African food, jewellery, clothes and more.
Africa Writes is programmed and produced by the Royal African Society.
We are co-sponsors with Africa Writes of Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s visit to the
UK to participate in both of our festivals.
5. Commonwealth Writers inspires writers, storytellers and a range of
cultural practitioners to work for social change. It builds communities
of less heard and emerging voices to influence, directly and indirectly,
the decision-making processes which affect their lives. In line with
this vision, the Commonwealth Book Prize and Short Story Prize unearth
talented writers to take part in online residencies and on-the-ground
activities – as well as inspiring others through their work. Two of
Yardstick’s participants, Jamala Safari and E. E. Sule, were on the 2013
Book Prize (Africa Region) short-list – from which E.E. Sule was the
eventual category winner.
6. The programme is designed with the support of Bertel Martin,
Director at City Chameleon, a Bristol-based publishing company

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