Launch of ‘Not Quite Right For Us’
In these days of restrictions, the quieter, slower pace of the world is a good time to reflect on how our yesterdays have created what we are today. From the personal trials of overcoming prejudice and creating ground-breaking, often lonely, paths; to political decisions made to stand up for equality and make visible that which has been hidden — these are stories of being ‘not quite right’ that need to be shared.
Join us for the launch of Not Quite Right For Us: Forty Writers Speak Volumes, a celebration of outsiderness and an ode to otherness. The poems of Andy Jackson, John Mateer and E. Ethelbert Miller, and the memoirs of Paul Burston and Olive Senior, will give us pause for thought as we learn just how much personal and public histories can teach us.
Not Quite Right For Us is published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of live literature producer Speaking Volumes. The anthology is a singular collection of stories, essays and poems by a dynamic mix of established and surging voices alike. The book is edited by Sharmilla Beezmohun and published by flipped eye.
This event will take place on YouTube. Register in advance to receive a streaming link.
‘A rich and varied feast of wonderful writing about culture, creativity and opportunity’ — Bernardine Evaristo
About the writers
Paul Burston was born in York and raised in south Wales. His latest novel is the psychological thriller The Closer I Get (Orenda Books, 2019). His journalism has appeared in many publications including the Guardian, The Times and Time Out. He is the curator of award-winning literary salon Polari at London’s Southbank Centre, and founder of The Polari Book Prize for LGBT+ writing. Paul divides his time between London and Hastings. Image (c) Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris
John Mateer has published books of poems in the UK, Australia, Austria and Portugal. Smaller collections of his work – pamphlets, posters, chapbooks – have also appeared in Indonesia, Macau, Japan and South Africa. His poems have been translated into European and Asian languages and, recently, into Brazilian Portuguese and Armenian. As a ‘South African’, his poems have been included in The New Century of South African Poetry (AD Donker, 2002) and Imagine Africa, Vol. 1 (Pirogue Collective, 2011); while, as an ‘Australian’, his work has appeared in many anthologies in that country. His books in the UK are a small selected poems, Elsewhere (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’ and João (Shearsman Books, 2013 and 2019). Image (c) Daniel Terkl
Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over forty years of his work. He is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholarson UDC-TV. In recent years, Miller has been inducted into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame and awarded the 2016 AWPGeorge Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honour. In 2018, he was appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book If God Invented Baseball (City Point Press) was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Image (c) Glen Echo
Andy Jackson has featured at literary events and arts festivals across Australia, in Ireland, India and the USA. His first published book of poems, Among the Regulars, was shortlisted for the 2011 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, and his most recent collection, Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold, which consists of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome, was shortlisted for the 2020 John Bray Poetry Award. Andy has co-edited disability-themed issues of the literary journals Southerly and Australian Poetry Journal, and he works as a creative writing teacher for community organisations and universities. Website
Olive Senior is the prize-winning author of eighteen books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature. Her many awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies, the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica, Canada’s Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated and is taught internationally. Her poetry book Gardening in the Tropics was on the CAPE syllabus for Caribbean schools and has been translated into several languages, most recently Arabic. She lives in Toronto but returns frequently to her Jamaican birthplace, which remains central to her work. Her book of Pandemic Poems which she has been sharing on social media during ‘the summer of Covid 19’ will be published shortly.