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Announcing Our 2020 Writer In Residence

14 April 2020

We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Akila Richards as our 2020 Writer In Residence.  We received a record 54 applications this year of extremely high quality.  We’d like to thank all of those who applied and wish them luck with their work.

Akila Richards is an accomplished writer, poet and spoken word artist. Her poetry and short stories have been published by Penguin, Peepal Tree Press and Waterloo Press, as well as online for a range of events, campaigns and initiatives.  She adapted her short story Secret Chamber into a theatre play, and recently produced a soundscape, ‘New Grounding,’ for Dulwich Picture Gallery from her poem After the Destruction for the ‘Journeys’ project – https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/displays/2020/january/journeys/

Some of her writing gives voice to the Black German experience and on migrating in multiple ways. Her performances and readings take place in international settings–Africa, Europe and the Caribbean–in artistic, cultural and community settings. Her collaboration with visual artists (printing poems on textiles) have led to regional exhibitions.

Akila’s portfolio includes programming and managing creative and diverse community projects including ‘Africa Beyond’ at Southbank, Refugee Week events and currently the Lit Up Mentoring/Publishing Scheme with Waterloo Press – https://waterloopress.co.uk/lit-up/. Akila also programmed for the Mboka Literature Festival 2019 in Gambia and the UK.

She is currently completing her poetry collection and writing a novel, culminated from a selection of her short stories based on the same character.

About the residency

Akila will undertake a residency at Preston Park Recovery Centre later in the year when current measures have been lifted.  She will serve on the Creative Future Writers’ Award judging panel, contribute to the awards anthology, and read her work at the showcase.  Akila will also provide writing workshops to their service users and at another Brighton organisation.

Due to current conditions, Akila will facilitate online writing workshops.  Stay tuned for more information on how to book onto these workshops (places will be limited) released shortly.

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