Scots Makar unveils UK BAME list

Scots Makar unveils UK BAME list

Scots Makar Jackie Kay has unveiled her selection of ten “bold, brilliant and brave” BAME authors in the UK.

The national poet for Scotland revealed her selection at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which is the latest in the International Literature Showcase’s series of guest curated lists to promote outstanding British talent overseas.

The list includes Jay Bernard who won the Ted Hughes prize for their 2018 piece Surge (Chatto & Windus), poet Mary Jean Chan whose debut collection Flèche (Faber & Faber) was published in July, and Cameroon-born poet and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles.

The list also features poet Imtiaz Dharker whose works are on the British GCSE and A Level English syllabus, Michael Donkor whose debut novel Hold (Fourth Estate) was longlisted for the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize, author of Ordinary People and 26a (Penguin Books) Diana Evans, and Scottish Book Trust new writers award winner 2018 Nadine Aisha Jassat.

Birmingham-born poet Zaffar Kunial, Manchester Happened (OneWorld) author and creative writing teacher Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and When We Speak of Nothing (Cassava Press) author Olumide Popoola.

Kay said: “Bold, brilliant and brave, these ten writers give us a real idea of the range of talent writing in the UK today. All of them are interested in language, in memory, in time – and all make us think deeply about what it means to be a human being alive in Britain in the 21st century.”

The list was commissioned by the National Centre for Writing (NCW) and British Council, supported by Arts Council England for The International Literature Showcase which invites six guest curators to focus on different aspects of writing from the UK.

The showcase launched with Elif Shafak’s selection of women writers at London Book Fair in March 2019 and was followed by Val McDermid’s choice of LGBTQI+ writers in August.