AFRICA WRITES NIGHT – an evening of poems, music, movement, and stories, whose roots are African.
Presented in association with the Royal African Society.
Music will start the evening; poems will carry it on; a panel and audience discussion will take it further; words from an elder will remind us of what matters; and dancers from the next generation will give us all hope for the future.
Launching the show with a soul-stirring performance will be The Rhythm & Roots Collective - celebrating African music, dance, and poetry in Swindon and beyond.
Catherine Okoronkwo will present a compelling mix of poetry and prose, speaking about and reading from her first collection, Blood and Water ọbara na mmiri whose poems travel across continents, cultures, and customs, and in so doing, examine the pull of the Western world. Catherine is of Nigerian heritage, grew up in the Middle East, and studied in the USA and UK. Her writings have been widely anthologised and her debut collection is published by Waterloo Press.
In Atomic Rhythm, the Rhythm & Roots Collective, aka Asafo Gyata, Bafana Matea, and Michael Fergie will take us on a journey of words, movement, and rhythm, combining the power of drum, body, and voice to elevate outlook and celebrate life. Asafo is an African/ Caribbean musician, poet, and martial arts teacher; Bafana is a dancer and choreographer from South Africa via New York; and Michael is a percussionist, musician, and creator of the Suitcase Soundsystem.
With a sound of modern soul mixed with folk, Americana and Folk singersongwriter Lady Nade has one of the most distinctive voices in British music today. Many of her songs highlight the positive connection between music, well-being, and diversity within the arts. Lady Nade has appeared on the BBC’s Cerys Matthews and Mark Radcliffe shows, with her third album Willing continuing to enjoy widespread success.
Matt Holland will introduce a panel of writers who will lead discussion on various themes, including imagination, pleasure, and activism. Matt loves Literature, loves life, and loves putting on events like this at the Swindon Festival of Literature.
Elder Eulinda Antonette Clarke-Akalanne, best known as Antonette, will speak of a long life lived to the full and remind us of what matters. Antonette is a short story writer, poet, and actor who appeared in Queen Ndate Yalla Mbodj; and who believes that life should be lived to the full and that learning is lifelong!
To close the evening, a bespoke ensemble of youthful Swindon dancers will put on a special forward-looking performance, choreographed by Bafana Matea with original music from the Suitcase Soundsystem.
The SWINDON FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE takes place 2nd – 8th May. It celebrates things well thought, well written, and well said, both serious and funny!
Seven days of great authors and entertaining speakers, it will include novelists, poets, philosophers, travellers, scientists, storytellers, historians, comedians, artists, and writing workshops There will be events at midday, teatime, and in the evening, carefully spaced and placed to enable you to attend almost every one, should you have the stamina!
Concessions: £1 off