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Winners Announced for the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
We are excited to announce and warmly congratulate the winners of our 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry. ‘I was very mindful of doing this work for Wasafiri,' said novelist and judge Hirsh Sawhney, of judging the prize.
'At sentence level, I am ruthless': In Conversation with Louise Kennedy
Ahead of her event on 15 October at Cheltenham Festival, 'The Sunday Times Must Reads: Louise Kennedy', Wasafiri talked to author Louise Kennedy, whose collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac (Bloomsbury) was released earlier this year to rave reviews.
Abdulrazak Gurnah Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature
We are so proud to join in the congratulations for Abdulrazak Gurnah, Wasafiri Advisory Board member, longstanding contributor, editor and friend, who has won the 2021 Nobel Prize for literature.
An Extract from 정 by S J Kim
S J Kim was born in Korea and raised in the American South, and is a Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Life WritingExtract
Wasafiri Wonders: Cecilia Knapp
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
InterviewsWasafiri Wonders
2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize Shortlist Announced
Fifteen writers across three genres have been shortlisted for the prestigious and uniquely international Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, this year judged by  Hirsh Sawhney  (Fiction),  Christie Watson  (Life Writing), and  Tishani Doshi  (Poetry), and chaired by  Andrew Cowan .
Tending by Eileen Chong
  … A weed:
An Extract from 'What Have I Done?' and Other Illusions of Control
Jessica Gaitán Johannesson is a Swedish/Colombian writer and climate justice activist based in Edinburgh. Recently appointed Wasafiri's new Writer-in-Residence for 2021-22, she facilitates workshops exploring the colonial roots of the climate crisis.
Writer in Residence
Exclusive Extract: In Conversation with Arundhati Roy
In this interview with Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Roy looks back on her decades-long career, and reflects on art and protest, the role of the novel, and notions of 'normality' in a post-pandemic world.  
Crown Shyness by King Llanza
* … Click here to download a screenreader accessible version of this poem. King Llanza (he/they) is from the Philippines. His poems have appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Sledgehammer Lit, bind collective, amberflora, Voice & Verse, SAND and Cordite Poetry Review, among others.
Slow Motion by Ellie Slee
It was my fourth birthday and we were moving into the house that would become our home of twenty years. The heat was arid, and the road — the same road where I’d learn to ride a bike, run races with my sister, walk back from exams down, break up with my boyfriend at the kerb of — was glittering.
The Restaurant by Byron Beynon
Lingering on this tropical esplanade    … I watch at low tide    … the restaurant of mud    … that softly feeds the waterbirds.    … The second day of a Queensland winter    … in a humid, rich June    … as the carriage of the pelican    … rests…
BLUE by alice hiller
* … Click here to download a screenreader friendly version of this poem. alice hiller’s Forward Prize shortlisted debut, bird of winter , responds to being groomed and sexually abused in childhood, and finding healing beyond this crime.
A Carry-On Full of Pictures and Letters
Heba Hayek is a London-based writer born and raised in Gaza, Palestine.
Life WritingExtract
Wasafiri at Large: Reinventing the Book in Malaysia
Earlier this year, Wasafiri was joined by five new Editors at Large based in Southeast Asia and Aotearoa New Zealand. In the coming months, as part of our new Wasafiri at Large series, each Editor at Large will shed light on their local literary scene. William Tham Wai Liang, based in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, was formerly Senior Editor at Vancouver’s Ricepaper magazine.
ArticlesEditors at Large
To be Birthed in Water by Hana Pera Aoake
Hana Pera Aoake (Ngaati Hinerangi me Ngaati Raukawa, Ngaati Mahuta, Tainui/Waikato, Ngaati Waewae, Kaati Mamoe, Waitaha) is a writer and artist from Aotearoa New Zealand. Their work is concerned with realising Indigenous sovereignty through the body, and through the whenua – the land.
The Bend in the Arc by C.A. Davids
In the next essay in our Queen Mary Wasafiri Global Dispatches series, novelist C.A. Davids – writing from Cape Town – tracks the slow, surreal rhythm of days spent indoors watching the world outside unravel.
Global Dispatches
Claiming Space as a Writer in a Multilingual World
Writer and poet Jennifer Wong took up the position of Wasafiri's Writer-in-Residence in November 2020. Six months on, as her residency comes to an end, she looks back on her popular programme of writing workshops that took place earlier this year…
Wasafiri Wonders: Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Ever wondered what your favourite author’s first drafts look like? Or which book they love that nobody’s heard of? Wasafiri Wonders is a series that asks these questions for you.
InterviewsWasafiri Wonders
Hinemoana by Stacey Teague
in the far-spread ocean solitudes   …     … Hinemoana hides herself so perfectly   … in the fold of the tide   …     … she thinks she would prefer to stay untethered   … so moves from place to place   …     … Hinemoana is a blue hallway   … with no adornments   …     … she is a backlit expanse   …
Meditations: Tice Cin on Caleb Azumah Nelson's Open Water
Wasafiri’s ‘Meditations’ is a new series that features creative and personal responses to new literature, asking writers to seek connections with themselves, their own work, and the text they’re reading.
Reading in Antarctica
Isabel Hofmeyr and Charne Lavery, colleagues from the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project based in Johannesburg, attended a conference of the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) of the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in Ushuaia…
Life WritingExtract
American Blue by Michael Malay
For many days it did not snow; the skies were clear and the valley was still. Then it snowed for weeks, a gentle but persistent snow that buried the earth. At first, the snow settled lightly on the land, dusting the trees and making the fields shine out in a white brilliance.
The Benevolence of a Raincoat by Veronique Bequin
‘A raincoat?’ Ettie Pebble’s puffy fingers fumbled with the buttons of the coat. She was talking to herself as she looked at the large white plastic discs looped through their button holes. She was perplexed. Simple actions had become hard. How did that happen? The raincoat was bright yellow.
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