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Issue 1

30th Birthday

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In the Beginning: Celebrating thirty years of Wasafiri and international contemporary writing
A conversation and readings
At 5.00pm on Wednesday 22 October 2014
In Room 137, Richard Hoggart building, Goldsmiths,
University of London, New Cross, London

‘When Wasafiri began its life thirty years ago, I could not have imagined it would have grown to become the magazine it is today. Since 1984, it has continued to carve out a distinctive space for the emergence of new writing from what are now several generations of writers, many of whom are prominent as figureheads of contemporary international writing on the world literary stage.’ So says Susheila Nasta, founding Editor of Wasafiri. Come and find out how that happened as she talks to Blake Morrison in a rare live conversation, which will uncover how Wasafiri has helped to change the face of international writing.

The interview will be followed by readings from four writers whose diverse geographies intersect at Wasafiri, which has published them all. Renowned Jamaican Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris will read alongside Vesna Goldsworthy and Minoli Salgado, both of whose work straddles poetry, fiction and criticism, and new voice Louisa Adoja Parker.

Vesna Goldsworthy edited the Balkan issue of Wasafiri (June 2014). Her books include a bestselling and much translated memoir,Chernobyl Strawberries (2005), which was serialised in The Times and on the BBC Radio 4;  Inventing Ruritania (1998), an influential study of the Balkans in Western imagination; and a Crashaw Prize winning poetry collection, The Angel of Salonika (2011) which was one of The Times Best Poetry Books of the Year. Her debut novel, Gorsky, a tale of a Russian oligarch in London, will be published in April 2015.

Mervyn Morris, recently appointed Poet Laureate of Jamaica,was born in Kingston in 1937. From 1966-2002 taught at the University of the West Indies, from which he retired as Professor of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature. His books of poems include The Pond,Shadowboxing and Examination CentreOn Holy Week and I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems. He edited Selected Poems by Louise Bennett, It A Come by Michael Smith and After-image by Dennis Scott. His non-fiction includes ‘Is English We Speaking’ and Other EssaysMaking West Indian Literature and Miss Lou: Louise Bennett and Jamaican Culture.

Louisa Adjoa Parker is a poet, black history and fiction writer of Ghanaian and English heritage who has lived in the West Country for most of her life. Her poetry collection Salt-sweat and Tears was published in 2007. She has recently completed her first novel, Letting the Light in, which was long-listed by the Mslexia Novel Competition.


Minoli Salgado was born in Kuala Lumpur and grew up in Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and England. A  writer and Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sussex, she was selected to represent Sri Lanka in the Cultural Olympiad in 2012. Her publications include her newly published novel, A Little Dust on the Eyes, which won the inaugural SI Leeds Literary Prize, and the critically acclaimed study, Writing Sri Lanka.


Free admission but to reserve a place please contact Maria MacDonald at

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