Promoting writing, literature and literary appreciation through development workshops and publishing.
AMBA Afrikan Heritage Writers
Meeting the fourth Tuesday of each month and free to participants; this mutual support group welcomes novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, poets, and other creative writers of all abilities and experience. Though facilitated, it is not a class but a development opportunity where participants learn from each other. You need not be a prolific, hugely experienced or amazingly talented writer but you must be serious and disciplined. It is the ideal forum to try out new material and share ideas in a friendly and informal atmosphere, giving and receiving helpful feedback. The group also promotes events featuring members and tries to assist one another with the publication of our work.
An anthology of poetry and prose, written by the members of the group is currently being produced. This collection of pieces will offer a creative and retrospective look at the experiences of Afrikan heritage military personnel and their families during the first Great War.
The book is scheduled to be published in the autumn of 2016
Bibsi is currently being funded by Arts Council England to write a faction about youth in Tottenham, set in 2011 with the build up to the 2011 riots.’ She has been working on the novel for three years, and found poetry “properly” just under a year ago. Bibsi uses writing and spoken word to express her feelings about the world; usually centring on current and past political climates, with an emphasis on racial inequalities and misuse of power.
Bridget Badoe McQuick aka Lady Esi
Bridget describes herself as a ‘portfolio careerist’ because she combines her skills, interests and passions in a variety of roles. She loves to write, perform, educate and seek knowledge on a range of topics – in particular personal development and African heritage and culture.
As a writer she has written two musical theatre plays combining her love of poetry, drama and dance. Over the years she has been published in a number of anthologies and publications, and has had poems displayed as part of exhibitions. At times Bridget describes her writing as ‘therapy’ as she uses it as a way to make sense of herself and the world around her.
Mohammad Baseer aka One Tawny Stranger
Mohammad has been writing with ‘intent to publish’ since 2012 and got into spoken word in 2013 – performing at various open mic sessions across London. He says: “Everything is my inspiration: nature, war, relationships, sexism, psychology, racism, history, sexuality, religion – nothing is off limits!”
Also a professional actor since 2014, he has been involved in projects including Paula David’s “Losing Sight of Home”, Kamal Karimullah’s “The Myth of OCD”, “Flat Lives” and several productions at Theatre Royal Stratford East; and attended the Kingdom School of Arts in 2015.
Merville Ngoma Bishop aka Dee Two-Four Carat Silver
(Lead for Morningside Music)
Ngoma is the author of Spread Your Wings and Fly, a biographical fiction novel, published by Tamare Press; and co-author of The Whole Story, a book of poetry and anecdotes also published by Tamare.
His many career highlights include experience as a Performance Poet, Song Writer, Theatre Director, Events Promoter and Arts Campaigner.
Pam Williams aka Susie Dread
(Lead for AMBA Publications)
For Pam, writing is an inherent part of her life, having begun penning stories at an early age and continuing to write creatively throughout her career as a fashion journalist and stylist. Sharing her work comes less naturally and to overcome this and finally air the three novels she has written over the years, she joined Afrikan Heritage Writers Group late in 2014. She now aims to publish her work, including a collection of poetry or “life narratives” as she calls them, that she is currently compiling.
“My dream is to touch people with my writing – like the Black female authors whose books I’ve collected from my teens. I would love for my work to one day be sought out as avidly and to inspire others as much as they inspired me.”
Yvonne has had a love for poetry since her school days. Whilst studying English and Drama at Middlesex Polytechnic she started to dabble with her own creativity and has written sporadically ever since. Inspired by life, she is now looking to develop her creative writing skills, with a focus on children’s poems and stories as well as writing short stories and novels.Yvonne has a strong music background and also studied Community Music at London’s Goldsmiths College. She aims to eventually achieve an MA in Music Therapy but for now is using her musical talents to develop some of her work into powerful performance pieces.
A relatively new recruit to the group she says of her writing: “I’ve always had a voice but it was mute and stage struck. Afrikan Heritage Writers has given me my mojo!”
AMBA AFRIKAN HERITAGE WRITERS PERFORMING
Click here to view footage of AMBA members performances
AMBA Afrika and Diaspora Writers Appreciation Evenings
AMBA Afrika and Diaspora Writers Appreciation Evenings celebrate the richness and diversity of creative and other writers of Afrikan heritage – past and contemporary – from the motherland and through0ut the diaspora, through the reading and discussion of the impact of their work; and each Appreciation Evening will focus on the work of a particular individual.
The inaugural Writers Appreciation Evening took place on 19 March 2010 at the original C.L.R. James Library in Dalston, London. Since then, celebrities and poets have read selected works by the most accomplished writers of Africa and the Diaspora at ongoing events. A diverse range of authors and poets are not only selected to reflect the modern and post-modern experiences of the Diaspora (mid-18th century to present), but to introduce audiences to more obscure work. Pieces from Countee Cullen, Phillis Wheatley, Kamau Braithwaite, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Lousie ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett, Grace Nicholls, Michael Smith and Olive Senior have featured.
These evenings also promote the work of members of AMBA Afrikan Heritage Writers and on occasion guest writers.