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Wasafiri Editor

Articles by Wasafiri Editor

An Interview with Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Tell us about how you got into writing? I’ve been writing poetry ever since I can remember. My grandmother was a secondary school English teacher, and I grew up in a house filled with lovely old books of poetry. Reading and writing poetry was a big part of my childhood.
Mexico series: interview with poet Alberto Blanco
This is an edited extract from the text ‘The Heart of the Moment: An Interview with Alberto Blanco’ which was carried out by Kimberly A. Eherenman. It has been published in parts in The Bitter Oleander and in the magazine Fractal.
The Death of Gabriel García Márquez
On 17 April, Colombian author and Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez passed away at his home in Mexico City, aged eighty-seven. He has been described as one of literature’s all-time greats — what of the legacy he leaves behind?
Preeya does Work Experience at Wasafiri
Today I visited Wasafiri's offices in Camden and got to experience the atmosphere and an average day in their work lives.
An Interview with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co. Down. In 2015 she won both first place and runner up in the Ambit Fiction Prize, first place in the Wasafiri New Writing Prize (Life Writing) was a prize winner in Inktears Flash Fiction contest.
An Interview with Uschi Gatward
Uschi Gatward was born in East London and lives there now. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best British Short Stories 2015 (Salt), Flamingo Land & Other Stories (ed.
An interview with Amaal Said
 "I’m a Danish-born Somali girl who calls London a home. I chose poetry, or poetry chose me. I’m so interested in the ways we can heal ourselves from trauma and also in how we can make new lives for ourselves after tragedy.
Interview with Niamh MacCabe
An interview with Niamh MacCabe - Winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Fiction … Born in Dublin, Niamh MacCabe grew up in Paris, in north-west Ireland, and in Washington DC, graduating there from the Corcoran School of Art.
An interview with Shiva Rahbaran
An interview with Shiva Rahbaran - Winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Life Writing … Shiva Rahbaran was born in Tehran. She was eight years old when the last Persian monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, left Iran giving way to the foundation of the Islamic Republic.
Five Minute Interview with Niamh MacCabe
Born in Dublin, Niamh MacCabe grew up in Paris, in north-west Ireland, and in Washington DC, graduating there from the Corcoran School of Art. She worked overseas in the Animated Film industry, eventually returning full-time to Ireland to raise her children.
A Reading List from our Readers
We asked our readers on social media to let us know what they'll be reading during the festive break. This is their list: @Ovid42 will be reading:
An Extract from South Haven by Hirsh Sawhney
‘A Just War’ … An extract from, South Haven, the first novel by Hirsh Sawhney … As they drove to Deer Run Elementary School on that chilly February evening, a light snow wet the windshield of their rust-coloured car. His stomach gurgled with dread, which mounted as they approached the town centre.
An extract from 'Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction', edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey
Wasafiri is delighted to feature a second exclusive extract from the exciting new anthology Safe House: An Anthology of Creative Nonfiction.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes on The Commonwealth Book Prize 2012
Overall winner and regional winner, Asia: Shehan Karunatilaka (Sri Lanka), Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew (Random House) Regional winner, Africa: Jacques Strauss (South Africa), The Dubious Salvation of Jack V (Jonathan Cape) Regional winner, Canada and Europe:
In the Same Cage by Igor Štiks
Wasafiri is delighted to be launching our new Special Issue, Writing the Balkans, guest-edited by writer and academic Vesna Goldsworthy. As a little taster of the issue, we’re publishing this extract here from acclaimed writer Igor Štiks (translated by Andrew Wachtel).
London's South Asian Radical Writers
On 3 October 2012, to mark the launch of Wasafiri’s Special Issue, ‘Britain and India:
New Beacon Book Club
The enthusiastic first meeting of the New Beacon Book Club took place on a wet March evening in North London. A group of readers met to discuss Foundations, the first volume of poetry by Trinidadian poet and erudite activist John La Rose.
In Conversation with Marius Kociejowski
Following on from Marius Kociejowski’s contribution to Wasafiri (an interview with Brian Chikwava in issue 67) we interviewed the writer in a special online feature. Marius Kociejowski is a Cheltenham Prize-winning poet, essayist and travel writer living in London.
In conversation with Bina Shah
Award-winning Pakistani author, Bina Shah's short story, 'Peter Pochmann Goes to Pakistan', features in issue 65. Bina talks to Wasafiri's Nisha Obano about her writing, her journalism, the influence of Karachi and the growing tension in Pakistan upon her work.
In conversation with Jay Bernard
Jay Bernard came to comics via poetry; her first pamphlet, Your Sign is Cuckoo Girl (2007), was followed by a graphic poem in City State (2009).
Susheila Nasta's top ten books to take you travelling
Wasafiri Editor, Susheila Nasta, selected her top ten books for the Guardian in 2009. 'The tragic-comic creation of a black city of words that was both magnet and nightmare for its new colonial citizens is a must.
25 acclaimed writers select the 25 most influential books
Gabriel García Márquez’s seminal novel One Hundred Years of Solitude topped the list of books that have most shaped world literature over the last twenty-five years…
Twenty-Five Most Influential Books
When Wasafiri turned 25 in 2009, 25 authors were asked to select an influential book from, or upon, the last 25 years. In addition, Wasafiri asked its own Editorial Team and Board what their suggestions might be. Melanie Abrahams: Orange Laughter by Leone Ross Sharmilla Beezmohun:
Summer Reads 2013
Natasha Soobramanien Seldom Seen, by Sarah Ridgard Hutchinson, London, 2012, hbk, 256pp, £14.99, 9780091944124, Set in Suffolk in the 1980s, this wonderful novel is about how our secrets shape us.
Summer Reads 2011
Daisy Hasan The Collaborator, by Mirza Waheed Viking, London, 2011, pbk, 320pp, £12.99, 9780670918959, Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator focuses on the story of a young Gujjar boy recruited to collaborate with an official in the Indian army in the Kashmir Valley.
Christmas List 2012
Toby Litt Building Stories, by Chris Ware Jonathan Cape, London, 2012, hbk, 246pp, £30, 9780224078122 Chris Ware must get fairly bored with being called a genius.
Christmas List 2011
Maggie Gee Out of It, by Selma Dabbagh Bloomsbury, London, 2011, pbk, 320pp, £12.99, 9781408821305, Selma Dabbagh’s pacy…
Christmas List 2010
Moniza Alvi Ten:
Five Minute Interview with Shiva Rahbaran
Shiva Rahbaran was born in Tehran. She was eight years old when the last Persian monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, left Iran giving way to the foundation of the Islamic Republic.
Five Minute Interview with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood Co. Down. She started writing in 2014. In 2015, she won both first place and runner up in Ambit Fiction Contest, and first place in Wasifiri New Writing Competition (Life Writing).
Five Minute Interview with Uschi Gatward
Uschi Gatward’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best British Short Stories 2015 (Salt), Flamingo Land & Other Stories (ed.
Celebrating 30 Years in 2014
Birthday Issue Launch, Schools Project:
New Generations - Our Schools Project
To celebrate the magazine’s 30th birthday, Wasafiri has been looking forward, working with a group of young students who may become tomorrow’s writers, journalists and editors, on a schools publishing project.
Five Minute Interview with Abeer Hoque
Abeer Y. Hoque is a Nigerian born Bangladeshi American writer and photographer. She likes graffiti, sticky toffee pudding, and the end of the current US administration. It can’t come soon enough.
Five Minute Interview with Jane Ryan
Jane Ryan co-won the Wasafiri New Writing Fiction Prize in 2010. She is currently working with secondary schools who have adopted her recently launched teen spy thriller series Missing Dad 1: Wanted (Troubador) for use with library reading groups. Book 2:
Five Minute Interview with Richard Scott
Richard Scott was born in London in 1981. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies including Poetry Review, Poetry London, Swimmers, The Poetry of Sex (Penguin) and Butt Magazine.
Five Minute Interview with Catherine Mee
Catharine Mee grew up in Birkenhead and now lives in Durham. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in French and Italian literature. Her stories have been published in Wasafiri, The Salt Anthology of New Writing 2013, Unthology and Prole, as well as online.
Israeli Summer by Janine Rich
Kaitz Israeli (Israeli Summer) -was the name of the movie marathon … playing on yes.vod that summer … The trailer played     constant … nostalgic music droning over images of … young, dark haired actresses.
Five Minute Interview with Jaki McCarrick
Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction.
Five Minute Interview with Cliff Chen
Cliff Chen is a Trinidadian-born writer. He has published several short stories and was winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Life Writing (2013) and also shortlisted for fiction category that same year.
Five Minute Interview with Gita Ralleigh
Gita Ralleigh completed her MA in creative writing at Birkbeck in 2015 and has had short stories published by Wasafiri, Bellevue Literary Review, Fox Spirit, the Word Factory and Freight (February 2017).
Five Minute Interview with Simon Van der Velde
Simon Van der Velde was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne where he trained and practiced as a lawyer, before leaving the legal profession to concentrate full time on his writing.  He now lives in Newcastle with his wife and two tyrannical children.
Five Minute Interview with Anita Pati
Anita Pati won the Wasafiri New Writing Prize (poetry) in 2013, has been a Jerwood/Arvon mentee and was one of 2015’s Aldeburgh Eight winners. Her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies including Poetry London, The Rialto, Best British Poetry, Magma and The North.
Five Minute Interview with Aurvi Sharma
Aurvi Sharma has been awarded the Gulf Coast Non-fiction Prize, the Prairie Schooner Essay Prize, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize in Life Writing, the AWP Emerging Writer Scholarship, and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award.
Five Minute Interview with Aria Aber
Aria Aber was the joint-winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Poetry 2014. Her winning poem was 'First Generation Immigrant Child'. She lives in London. -- What are you reading right now? Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry. Where do you write? Everywhere.
Five Minute Interview with Sally St Clair
Sally St Clair's stories have been published in Stand and Panurge. Her poems have been published in various anthologies including  Beautiful Dragons, and The Raving Beauties Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe). She has had a prize winning poem in the Arvon International Poetry Competition.
Five Minute Interview with Rowyda Amin
Rowyda Amin is the author of two pamphlets, We Go Wandering At Night And Are Consumed By Fire (Sidekick Books, 2017), and Desert Sunflowers (flipped eye, 2014).
Five Minute Interview with Ola Awonubi
Ola Awonubi studied for an MA in Creative writing and Imaginative Practice at the University of East London and in 2008 her short story The Pink House, won first prize in the National words of colour competition.
An Interview with Magogodi oaMphela Makhene - Caine Prize Shortlist
Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) is shortlisted for the Caine Prize 2017 for 'The Virus’ published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016).
An Interview with Chikodili Emelumadu - Caine Prize Shortlist
Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) is shortlisted for The Caine Prize for ‘Bush Baby' published in African Monsters, edited by Margaret Helgadottir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, UK. 2015).
An Interview with Arinze Ifeakandu - Caine Prize Shortlist
Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) is shortlisted for The Caine Prize for 'God's Children Are Little Broken Things' published in A Public Space 24 (A Public Space Literary Projects, Inc., USA. 2016). Arinze was the editor of The Muse (No.
An Interview with Bushra al-Fadil - Caine Prize Shortlist
An Interview with Bushra al-Fadil - Caine Prize Shortlist … Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) is shortlisted for The Caine Prize for 'The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away' translated by Max Shmookler with support from Najlaa Osman Eltom…
An Interview with Lesley Nneka Arimah - Caine Prize Shortlist
An Interview with Lesley Nneka Arimah - Caine Prize Shortlist … Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) is shortlisted for The Caine Prize for 'Who Will Greet You At Home' published in The New Yorker (USA. 2015) .
Olivia Laing Interview – Refugee Tales II
Olivia Laing is a British writer and cultural critic. She is the author of three books: To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring and The Lonely City. Her tale 'The Abandoned Person's Tale' appears in Refugee Tales: Volume II, which is out now from Comma Press.
Letter to Uncle Sam by Saadat Hasan Manto
Letter to Uncle Sam by Saadat Hasan Manto … Saadat Hasan Manto was an Indo-Pakistani writer, playwright and author considered among the greatest writers of short stories in South Asian history.
Monique Roffey Interview – The Tryst
Monique Roffey was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and educated in the UK. She is the author of six books, five novels and a memoir. Three of her novels are set in Trinidad and the Caribbean region.
Suggest a Book - Reader Generated List
We asked Wasafiri readers to suggest books to add to the English Literature curriculum. Here are the 40 suggestions we received in the order that they were submitted: Closure:
She is Our Stupid by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi landed on the literary landscape with her ‘great Ugandan novel’, Kintu, which won the Kwani?
Writing Britain Now: Nick Makoha in conversation with Roger Robinson
On the occasion of the publication of Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise on 12 July, our writer-in-residence, Nick Makoha sat down to speak with the author about the book, his working methods and his views on poetry.  … Robinson first published in Wasafiri Special Issue 74 : 'Brighter Suns:
'Get Up, Stand Up Now': Zak Ové speaks to Susheila Nasta
Libita Clayton, ‘BS2-RESIST & REVOLT BLACK HISTORY, LIVE TRANSMISSION’. Image courtesy of artist.
Jo Lloyd on Winning the 2019 BBC National Short Story Award
Last week, Jo Lloyd won the 2019 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University for her short story, ‘The Invisible’, which is available to listen to on the BBC Sounds app, or here.
Cutting Water by Emily Pritchard
My father chose the flattest stones,   … skimming them out to sea,   … and taught me never   … to walk on a beach   … without filling my pockets   … with pebbles. When was  it   … that he learnt to skim? And who taught him?   … I know small things   … about that boy.
How do we breathe in a country that does not accept us?
Writer and curator Kadija Sesay writes about co-curating Khadija Saye: in this space we breathe for The British Library, reflecting on spirituality and storytelling in British-Gambian culture, art as resistance, and bonds between mothers and daughters.
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.
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 .

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