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Black books matter: free literacy workshop for young people


THE CENTRE for Post Colonial Studies is pleased to partner with the British Foundation for the University of the West Indies ( and Future Think to host ‘Black Books Matter: making mirrors for our youth’ with award-winning children’s author, Zetta Elliott.

This workshop will focus on the importance of books with diverse characters and an insight into the creative writing process. Zetta will discuss why she writes books with multicultural characters and where she gains inspiration for her books. She discusses the role that books place in our culture as mirrors, windows and doors. This workshop will be suitable for GCSE students, parents and teachers.

Dr. Zetta Elliott is a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. She was born and raised in Canada, her father is from the island of Nevis. Zetta has lived in the US for over 20 years.

She earned her PhD in American Studies from New York University in 2003; she has taught at Ohio University, Louisiana State University, Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, Bard High School Early College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College (The City University of New York).

Her poetry has been published in the Cave Canem anthology, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees, and Coloring Book, an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers.

Her novella, Plastique, was excerpted in T Dot Griots: an Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers, and her plays have been staged in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago. Zetta;s essays have appeared in School Library Journal, The Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly. Her picture book, Bird, won the Honour Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. The author's young adult novel, A Wish After Midnight, has been called “a revelation…vivid, violent and impressive history.” Ship of Souls was published in February 2012; it was named a Booklist Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Title for Youth and was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award.

Her latest YA novel, The Door at the Crossroads, was a finalist in the Speculative Fiction category of the Cybils Award, and she won the Children's Literature Association's Article Award for her 2014 essay, "The Trouble with Magic: Conjuring the Past in New York City Parks."

She is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing, and has self-published several illustrated books for younger readers under her own imprint, Rosetta Press (3 were named Best of the Year by the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature). She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Attend Black Books Matter: Making Mirrors For Our Youth from 4-6 pm on 26 October 2017. The Court Room, First Floor, Senate House (University of London) Malet Street WC1E 7HU Please register

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