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Welcome Introduction Patron: Alissandra Cummins Chair of UNESCO Executive Board and Director of Barbados Museum and Historical Society

Stories connect communities and cultures and remind us of the universal themes of our common humanity. Yardstick celebrates the history of the people of the African Diaspora, a people whose traditions have survived the trauma of imperialism and colonialism through the rich tapestry of nations forging their own identity and confidence on the global stage, such as Kenya’s 50 years of independence in 2013.

Books have shaped the person I am today. Caribbean people have grown to treasure their public libraries, which have opened up our imaginations and aspirations to a world of endless possibilities. We adore our great writers and poets such as Derek Walcott, Kamu Brathwaite and, my fellow Yardstick patron, Lorna Goodison. Our stories are our gift to the world. Libraries are our gifts – wrapped. Yardstick’s performers are our gifted rappers! I hope you are inspired to read the books of the fine writers taking part and to immerse yourself in the rich and varied cultures of peoples of African descent. Enjoy the festival!


Thursday 27 June, 8pm Poetry reading – Lorna Goodison Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison is internationally recognised as one of the foremost Caribbean writers. Lorna has received many awards for her writing, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), Jamaica 50 Cultural Medal of Honour and the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Venue: Bath Central Library Price: £6 (plus Eventbrite booking fee) or visit Bath Central Library in person. See back page to book online.

Friday 28 June, 2 - 4pm Poetry workshop – Nick Makoha Join one of the most exciting poets around for a poetry workshop that will inspire and challenge. (Max 12, first come first served.) Born in Uganda, Nicholas Makoha is a dynamic writer and poet. He has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London, where he is one of ten contemporary poets in the UK to have been selected for Spread the Word’s Complete Works development programme. Venue: Bristol Central Library Price: £15 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bristol library. See back page to book online.


Friday 28 June, 6pm Rural v Urban – panel discussion

The story of the African Diaspora is the tale of continents and many countries. Join our panel as they discuss the how the rural and urban environments in diverse countries have influenced and inspired writers and how the landscapes have shaped cultures within the Diaspora. Panel: Geoffrey Philp, E. E. Sule, Jamala Safari, Tanya Shirley and Leeto Thale.

Chair: Chino Odimba. Chino is a Nigerian born playwright who was raised in London. Her work has been produced in theatres across the South West and the capital and includes ‘Rainy Season’ (Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Ferment’) and a short play ‘RAAR Birds’. Chino is currently Writer-on-Attachment at the Bristol Old Vic. Venue: Bristol Central Library Price: £3 (plus Eventbrite booking fee or visit any Bristol library and pay in advance.) See back page to book online.

Friday 28 June, 8pm Yardstick’s Griot Globetrotters Celebrate the wealth of writing from the African Diaspora in the first Yardstick group event. Performers: Tanya Shirley, E.E Sule, Nick Makoha, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Warsan Shire, Geoffrey Philp, Jamala Safari and Leeto Thale. Tanya Shirley is recognised by academics and the public alike as a rising star of Caribbean poetry. Her debut collection, ‘She Who Sleeps With Bones’, was named by the Jamaica Gleaner as one of the year’s best sellers. Tanya is proud to be a Cave Canem Fellow. Emmanuel Egya Sule is the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region) 2013 for his debut novel, Sterile Sky. Sule hails from Usha in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. He writes poetry and fiction. For all performer bios go to: www.yardstick.org.uk/2013-participants Venue: Bristol Central Library Price: £6 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bristol library. See back page to book online.


Saturday 29 June, 11am - 1pm

Poetry masterclass – Lorna Goodison We are pleased to offer established and emerging poets the exciting opportunity to participate in an afternoon poetry masterclass with Lorna Goodison. Lorna, Professor at the Creative Writing programme of the University of Michigan, will put the craft of poetry under the microscope. Places are very limited so book early to avoid disappointment. Venue: Bath Central Library, Exhibition Room Price: £15 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bristol library (Max 12, first come first served. Book via Eventbrite only) See back page to book online.

Saturday 29 June, 3-4pm

Whose language is it anyway? A discussion panel chaired by Dee Jarrett-Macauley on the theme of translation. Dee will be supported by Dr Marie-Annick Gournet, Director of Widening Participation, University of the West of England. With the increasing number of bilingual writers in the African Diaspora how do they choose the original language for their work? What are the challenges for translators? Do writers only look at English and French speaking markets? Join our panel as they discuss the issues facing writers in the Diaspora over politics and creativity in language. Panel: Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Warsan Shire, Nick Makoha and Jamala Safari Chair: Delia Jarrett-Macauley. Delia is an award-winning writer. Her first novel, ‘Moses, Citizen and Me’; set in post-war Sierra Leone, won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing. She is also the biographer of the early 20th century Jamaican poet, playwright and broadcaster – Una Marson, 1905-1965 Venue: Bath Central Library Price: £6 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at Bath Central library. See back page to book online.


Saturday 29 June, 8pm

Yardstick’s Griot Globetrotters Celebrate the wealth of writing from the African Diaspora with Yardstick. Performers to excite, entertain and inform, including: Tanya Shirley, E.E Sule, Nick Makoha, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Warsan Shire, Geoffrey Philp, Jamala Safari and Leeto Thale. To find out more on our performers go to: www.yardstick.org.uk/2013-participants Venue: Bath Central Library Price: £6 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bath Central library. See back page to book online.

Sunday 30 June, 2pm

Fairfield House; a sound portrait by Karen Wallis Fairfield House is a sound portrait with drawings, depicting a place where many different groups meet. The house itself is where Haile Selassie lived during his exile from Ethiopia so it also holds great significance for both Rastafarians and Ethiopians. The sound portrait / film follows a day at the house combined with events in the lives of the immigrant community. Venue: Bath Central Library

Price: Free

Sunday 30 June, 4pm

The future of Black publishing A discussion panel chaired by Richard Jones on the theme of the future of black publishing. What is the current state of publishing and the emerging trends and how will the changes impact on writers from the African Diaspora? Join our panel as they discuss the future of publishing of books by Black writers. Panel: Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Dean Atta and others TBC. Chair: Richard Jones, Director of Tangent Books Venue: Bristol Central Library Price: £6 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bristol library. See back page to book online.


Sunday 30 June, 7pm

An Evening with Lemn Sissay Yardstick is pleased to welcome Lemn Sissay to Bristol. Writer, performer and cultural ambassador, Lemn has toured the world with his exciting, dynamic and insightful performances. Lemn’s work is entertaining and thought provoking. Lemn Sissay is a poet and playwright. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the 2012 Olympics and his poem “Spark Catchers” is etched into a Transformer on The Olympic Site. His Landmark Poems are written in Manchester and London, where they adorn The Royal Festival Hall. In 2010 Lemn was made a MBE for services to literature. Venue: Bristol Central Library Price: £6 (Plus Eventbrite booking fee) or book in advance at any Bristol library. See back page to book online.

Sunday 30 June, 9.30 ‘til late

Yardstick VIP After Show Party with Dean Atta Yardstick Festival 2013 presents, in association with Namaskar Lounge and Bud Uk Ltd, the Yardstick Festival VIP After-show Party. Why not mingle with our poets and authors at the Yardstick end of festival celebration? Come join us for an Indian 3 course buffet (£20) or simply enjoy our event (£10) with a complementary delicious Yardstick Hot-Tail punch. Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet who won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. An ambassador for the Spirit of London Awards, he lives in London and teaches writing workshops across the UK. Venue: Namaskar Lounge, King St, Bristol, BS1 4RR Book tickets via Namaskar Lounge. Tel: 0117 9298 276 (any day after 5pm) and for food bookings by no later than 21 June (arrive to eat on the day no later than 9pm). See back page to book online.

Simply Beautiful Indian Food


Tickets Book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets for all of our author events are available at: www.yardstick.org.uk/tickets Tickets on the door are cash only payments, or visit Bath Central Library or any Bristol library and pay in advance.

Contact If you would like to get in touch with the Yardstick organisers, please visit our contacts page on our website at: www.yardstick.org.uk/contact

Updates and feedback Yardstick is a partnership of Bristol Libraries, Bath & North East Somerset Libraries, Plymouth Libraries and City Chameleon Ltd. The festival is supported by Arts Council England through Grants for the arts. You can follow Yardstick’s updates and share feedback and photos by visiting the following sites: Web: www.yardstick.org.uk Twitter: @yardstickfest Facebook: www.facebook.com/yardstickfest If you would like this information in another language, Braille, audio tape, Large print, easy English, BSL video or CD rom or plain text please contact 0117 903 7230

BD4136 Bristol Design. Printed on FSC approved paper


Yardstick Festival 2013