• Interview

    Podcast #8: Safia Elhillo

    Safia Elhillo is an award-winning poet who performs regularly and whose writing has been published in various journals and anthologies, the New Daugthers of Africa anthology just being one of the latest one. In 2016, her chapbook Asmarani was included in the New Generation African Poets Box Set. Her debut collection The January Children, was published in 2017 and won the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. In 2018, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her latest book is the anthology Halal If You Hear Me. The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3 which she co-edited with Fatimah Asghar. In this episode (recorded…

  • Interview

    Podcast #7: Zeba Talkhani

    Zeba Talkhani’s memoir My Past is a Foreign Country: A Muslim Feminist Finds Herself was published at the end of June and received blurbs by writers such as Meena Kandasamy and Ironesen Okojie. One of her previous essays, “The Difficulty in Being Good”, was part of the anthology Nasty Women. A Collection of Essays + Accounts On What It Is To Be A Woman In The 21st Century. In 2016 Zeba hosted Muslim Women Speak in London, “a micro-festival of interactive sessions curated, chaired and presented exclusively by Muslim women.” She has earned a degree in publishing and currently works as a production editor at Bloomsbury Academic. In this episode, we talk…

  • Interview

    Podcast #6: Leslie Kuo

    Leslie Kuo describes herself on her website as “a librarian, a designer, a translator, and both a first and second generation immigrant”. Currently she works at the Berlin-Pankow Public Library District. She is part of the management team and responsible for a programme on ‘intercultural opening’ (a term we discuss within the podcast). For her thesis, Kuo interviewed library staff with ‘immigration background’ in Berlin and analysed their experiences. Kuo is also a member of the International Federation of Libraries and Associations where she is the information coordinator of the section “Library Services to Multicultural Populations”. In our conversation we discussed different aspects of how to create a library which…

  • Interview

    Podcast #5: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

    Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s debut novel House of Stone was published in 2018 to much acclaim. It has been awarded the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize. Before the novel, Tshuma had already published a novella and short fiction in various outlets. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently working on her PhD. Tshuma is the fiction editor for The Bare Life Review, “a literary biannual devoted entirely to work by immigrant and refugee authors”. We sat down in April during the African Book Festival Berlin and…

  • Interview

    Podcast #4: Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

    Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is a former deputy editor at Granta magazine and former senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House. She has edited anthologies such as Africa 39. New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara and Safe House. Creative Non-Fiction From Africa. Allfrey has been a judge for a variety of literary prizes such as Man Booker, Dublin International Literary Award, and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. This year, she was appointed as the new chairwoman of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Furthermore, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is the founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press, a very exciting, fairly new-ish publisher. We sat down in April during the African Book Festival Berlin and talked about…

  • Interview

    Podcast #3: Namwali Serpell

    Namwali Serpell is an award-winning author and associate professor of English at UC Berkeley.  Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009, shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize. Five years later she won the Caine Prize with her story „The Sack“. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, was published in March to much acclaim. (I wrote about five aspects I loved about The Old Drift.) Serpell also regularly publishes essays such as “The Banality of Empathy” or “Beauty Tips From My Dead Sister“. We talked about crossing genres, writing diverse female experiences, mosquitos, re-evaluating history, and why empathy is not everything.  This episode was recorded during the African Book…

  • Interview

    Podcast #2: Musa Okwonga

    Musa Okwonga is a poet, essayist, journalist, writer, and musician. His writing has appeared in several outlets. He has published two books on football –  A Cultured Left Foot (2007) and Will You Manage? (2010) – as well as a poetry collection (Eating Roses for Dinner). Okwonga contributed to award-winning anthologies like The Good Immigrant (2016) and Change Gonna Come (2018). One of his essays (“The Good Bisexual”) is included in the upcoming book Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (ed. Eric Osuwu). His “future blues” band BBXO released its first singles last year and already garnered a good amount of praise. If you want to follow and support his work, you can check out his…

  • Interview

    Podcast #1: Sharon Dodua Otoo

    Sharon Dodua Otoo describes herself as “Black British mother, activist, author and editor”. She has published two novellas in English, the things i am thinking while smiling politely (2012) and Synchronicity (2014), and is the editor of the English-language book series Witnessed which focusses on the experiences of Black people in Germany. In 2016 Otoo won the prestigious Ingeborg-Bachmann prize for her German short story “Herr Gröttrupp setzt sich hin” (Herr Gröttrup Sits Down). Currently, she is working on her first novel in German which will be published in 2020. In this interview, we speak about how the experiences as a writer and editor inform each other, if some stories…