Africa Writes Young Voices 2018

Africa Writes: Young Voices 2018

2018 is the second year of our Africa Writes: Young Voices education programme, which seeks to open up the wonderful world of African and diaspora literature to young people in schools and inspire them to write and perform their own poetry. Guided by professional poets and facilitators, school students explore traditional and contemporary African literature in a series of exciting interactive workshops and develop creative responses.

The young poets will perform their work at the Africa Writes: Young Voices showcase event and their work will be published in a series of digital anthologies.

We are committed to promoting African literature and working to fill gaps in the UK literature curriculum, so this year also sees us curating book lists of African and diaspora literature for each of our participating schools, spotlighting key texts and fresh new work for schools to enjoy. Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, we are creating a book package for each school in partnership with our poets and with New Beacon Books – these books will be gifted to the school libraries in September.

Programme of school workshops

Theresa Lola and Ruth Sutoyé are exploring Nigerian women’s poetry with students at Dunraven School, tracing the ways in which women’s voices have been developed over the years through poetry.

Rachel Long and Amina Jama are working at Phoenix Place school in partnership with Autograph ABP, exploring self and identities through photography and poetry.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is working with students at Addey and Stanhope school to develop their own bilingual poetry, championing mother tongues such as Edo, Yoruba, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic .

The Afrikult. Team, Zaahida Nabagereka and Marcelle Mateki Akita, returns to Parliament Hill School for Girls with their workshops Writing and Rioting: Women’s Use of the Pen and Performance, Poetry and African Languages. Students will write their own poetry in response to the texts they have explored together.

At Haggerston School, Joanna Brown explores the African presence in nineteenth century London through Autograph ABP’s Exhibition in a Box, ghost stories and the work of Helen Oyeyemi.

Twyford CofE School responded to Warsan Shire’s Africa Writes Flash Fiction prompt and explored Mozambican poetry as a stimulus for their own poetry.

Listen to the performance of this year’s workshop participants here:

Anthologies of the work will be published in early 2019.

Thanks to all the poets and schools in the Africa Writes: Young Voices community, and thanks to our funders, Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation.