Dzifa Benson reviews Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic – an anthology of artwork, photography, memoir, short stories by 34 contributors from around the world, all exploring what it means to be a Muslim in increasingly challenging times.
On the one hand, it’s a shame that a book such as the Bare Lit anthology is necessary. Its very existence shows that the mainstream publishing industry risks making itself culturally irrelevant if it continues its present trajectory of passing over writers of colour. On the other hand, it is a vital that such a book exists because it acts as a kind of index of cultural independence and emblem of innovation within the publishing industry which has been slow to recognise the sheer scope, talent and value of BAME writers.
Dzifa Benson reviews poet Rishi Dastidar’s first full collection of poetry, Ticker-Tape for Wasafiri. Dastidar’s poetry has been published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe).