The literary community has gathered behind a fundraiser at the Review Bookshop to support abortion rights with more than 80 prizes from authors including Max Porter and Olivia Laing, Picador editor Kishani Widyaratna and the London Review of Books.
Poet Amy Key (pictured), whose poetry has been published by Salt and Bloodaxe, is organising the event with Review’s manager Katia Wengraf. She said the pair were “overwhelmed” by offers of support for the free night of readings and a literary-focused raffle on 27th June.
Key was inspired to organise the event after a string of US states have passed laws which effectively ban abortion with others dramatically restrictically abortion access, as well as her own personal experience.
"I had an abortion when I was 19-years-old and even though it was a really bewildering time for me, knowing that I could access abortion through the NHS, near where I lived and I would not suffer from stigmatism, helped me through that experience - I felt very lucky," said Key. "I think the main thing is that by making an event happen, and getting writers, publishers and artists involved we have a brilliant opportunity to draw attention to what's happening for people in the UK right now - so many people don't realise that abortion is criminalised in Northern Ireland and our government has the power to change this."
As well as a raffle, with every £5 donated securing one raffle ticket, there will be also be readings at the free event at the bookshop in Bellenden Road, Peckham, south London, featuring author and co-owner Evie Wyld, poet Holly Pester and debut novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler.
Widyaratna, editor at Picador, is offering a partial manuscript review and meeting as a raffle prize while Man Booker-longlisted author Sophie Mackintosh is offering signed books and critique of a short story with feedback by Skype. Porter is offering a first edition of his second novel Lanny (Faber), and the London Review of Books magazine is offering a subscription and merchandise. Author and critic Laing has donated an offering of a one-off, hand-made, hand-stitched “zine” of US writer’s Kathy Acker's Don Quixote (Grove Press) while Key has promised a prize of a portrait of the winner's pet.
The money raised will go towards UK charity Abortion Support Network and to abortion access groups in America with more than £2,000 already donated online.
- Sarpong, Porter and du Beke among Bookshop Day authors
- Picador bags Laing's essay collection on importance of art
- Porter, Herron and Grayling join Balham Literary Festival line-up
- Porter, Sandbrook and Hadley to guest curate 70th Cheltenham Literature Festival
- Trade figures fundraise for author of 'cult swimming classic'