Stormzy with be in conversation with Akala at the Barbican on 7th November to launch his first book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far and celebrate his new imprint.
Expected to be Stormzy’s only UK appearance to discuss the book, and the mission of #Merky Books, according to PRH #Merky Books Live will feature the grime rapper in a “wide-ranging” discussion with Akala, touching on
why he wants to inspire a new generation of readers and writers and the power of storytelling.
Akala will then be joined by Chelsea Kwakye, co-author of Taking Up Space, the first book to be commissioned by Stormzy for #Merky Books, which seeks to fill the gap of often incomplete conversations about widening participation and inclusion in higher education; Jude Yawson, co-writer and editor of Rise Up; and other special guests, yet to be announced, invited by Stormzy to participate in a panel discussion exploring the role of literature in our lives.
#Merky Books Live will also celebrate “exciting new voices of today” in a spoken word showcase curated by Stormzy and performance poetry and spoken word organisation Apples and Snakes.
The event, produced by Penguin Live and in partnership with Spotify, will make 100 tickets available for free to young people at local secondary schools.
#Merky Books, William Heinemann's new imprint in partnership with musician Stormzy, was announced in July. Its mission is to "form a home for a new generation of voices". Launch title Rise Up will be published on 1st November 2018, while Taking Up Space, a book tackling issues around access to higher education, is due to be published by #Merky Books in summer 2019.