AWARD-WINNING author Irenosen Okojie will be Words of Colour Productions’ first ever Writer in Residence, taking up her residency in Bristol during Black History Month 2019.
The author of Butterfly Fish and Speak Gigantular will be supported by Words of Colour Productions, a creative communications agency that develops writers of colour, to identify talented writers, particularly women, and to uncover hidden black history in Bristol.
Irenosen Okojie said of the residency: “I’m thrilled to do this residency as part of Words of Colour’s fantastic programme of development for writers at all levels. I’m excited to engage with Bristol’s thriving creative communities, in particular the voices of women of colour. I want to hear their stories, and to encourage and support them in a political climate where the power of artistic expression feels more necessary than ever.”
During October, the residency will be spread across three locations: Junction 3 Library, Easton, St Pauls Community Centre, St Pauls and Waterstones Bristol Galleries, Broadmead.
There will be a writers’ workshop for women of colour, one-to-one drop in sessions, which is open to all, closing with a free In Conversation… event with Irenosen Okojie at Waterstones to discuss the residency and to celebrate the launch of her anticipated new short story collection Nudibranch, published by Dialogue Books.
At the end of the residency, Okojie will produce a specially commissioned piece of writing, which will feature exclusively on Words of Colour’s website.
Joy Francis, executive director of Words of Colour, said: “Irenosen Okojie is one of the most original and bold voices in British literature today, so it is befitting for her to be our first ever Writer in Residence.
“We have profiled her writing journey over the years and have had the pleasure of working with her. Irenosen is not only a writer, but a literary activist who is passionate about supporting other writers of colour, which is also our mission. As we are based in two creative cities – London and Bristol – her long-standing interest in Bristol’s history is an added bonus.”
Edouard Gallais, events manager at Waterstones Bristol Galleries and a residency project partner, added: “We’re very happy and excited to continue the partnership between Words of Colour and Waterstones Bristol, to bring more inclusive and outstanding authors to meet our local community.”
Further details about how to book for the workshop, drop-in sessions and In Conversation… event will be announced at the end of September.