Writing the City: Literary Landscapes of Hong Kong and London

Writing the City: Literary Landscapes of Hong Kong and London

By Wasafiri Editor on November 23, 2017 in

In an increasingly shifting global landscape, literature in all its genres, from short stories to graphic novels, from fiction to poetry, has become one of the most imaginative components to break cultural barriers and to hear diverse, international voices from across the globe. In partnership with the British Council, Wasafiri – the UK’s leading magazine for contemporary writing since 1984, will celebrate the launch of its special issue focus on Hong Kong writing in a panel discussion on Friday 1st December 2017.

Watch the livestream of the event:


A panel discussion co-presented by Wasafiri and British Council

18.30-20.30 | Friday 1st December 2017
British Council
Room 307-308, 3/F, 3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Conducted in English

Click here to register to book your free ticket(s).

Shirley Geok-lin Lim, world-renowned writer of poetry, fiction, and criticism
Jeffrey Mather, Co-editor of the Wasafiri Hong Kong issue
Dorothy Tse, Hong Kong fiction writer
Denis Wong, Brooklyn/Hong Kong-based writer
Rukhsana Yasmin, Deputy Editor of Wasafiri

In the panel discussion chaired by Professor Jeffrey Mather (co-editor of ‘Writing Hong Kong’ issue), the speakers will explore the diversity of language, form and genre leads to the question ‘What is the Hong Kong voice?’, and discuss the way in which political identities are expressed and formulated through their work in different narrative forms and explore issues relating to urban identity, globalisation and social inequality.

The Panellists 

Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s Crossing the Peninsula received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She was awarded the Multiethnic Literatures of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award and University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Research Lecture Award. She has published: ten poetry collections three short story collections; two novels (Joss and Gold and Sister Swing); a children’s novel, Princess Shawl, translated into Chinese; and The Shirley Lim Collection. Her memoir, Among the White Moon Faces, received the American Book Award. She served as Chair Professor of English at University of Hong Kong, and Chair of Women’s Studies at The University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is a Research Professor.

Jeffrey Mather is co-editor of the Wasafiri Hong Kong special issue. He completed his PhD in English at the University of Kent. He has worked at universities in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong. His research interests are in China/West literary representation and his work on topics to do with British and American travel writing, postcolonial literature, and modern and contemporary fiction have neem widely published in journals including, Neohelicon, Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies and ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature. He lives in Hong Kong.

Dorothy Tse is a Hong Kong fiction writer who has published three short story collections in Chinese. Her literary prizes include the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature and Taiwan’s Unitas New Fiction Writers’ Award. Tse’s first English short story collection, Snow and Shadow (translated by Nicky Harman), was longlisted for the 2015 Best Translated Book Award (The University of Rochester). Tse is also a co-founder of the Hong Kong literary magazine Fleurs de lettres. She currently teaches literature and writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Denis Wong is a Brooklyn/Hong Kong-based writer. He has been a teacher, a science fiction & fantasy editor, and a laundry boy. His stories have been published in The MarginsDrunken BoatHyphen Magazine, and Gemini Magazine, among others.

Rukhsana Yasmin is Deputy Editor of Wasafiri – The Journal of International Contemporary Literature. She has over ten years of publishing experience, and has commissioned several books in the UK, including the International Man Booker shortlisted Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, which went on to win the Etisalat Prize for African Literature, In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the controversial Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan, which was a New York Times bestseller. She is winner of the 2012 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing, and in 2014 was named a Bookseller Rising Star.

Partition, 70 years on – Event at LSE

Partition, 70 years on – Event at LSE

By Wasafiri Editor on November 13, 2017 in

Partition, 70 years on: what have we learnt from the division of India?

Hosted by the Migration Museum Project

This event has taken place. You can listen to an audio recording of it here:

The 70th year of Indian independence inevitably recalls Partition and the violent division that followed it. In a lecture that considers the lessons for other countries facing similar divisions, Kishwar Desai talks about establishing the Partition Museum in Amritsar, and considers whether partition and division are ever reparable.

Lady Kishwar Desai (@kishwardesai) is an author and columnist and chair of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which is responsible for creating the Partition Museum, dedicated to the memory of the Partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947.

Susheila Nasta MBE is currently Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary College, University of London and Emeritus Professor at the Open University.

The Migration Museum Project (@MigrationUK) is working to establish the UK’s first national migration museum, telling the long story of migration into and out of this country and providing a forum in which to discuss the impact of migration on our national identity.

Find out more and book tickets here:

London Radical Bookfair 2017

London Radical Bookfair 2017

By Wasafiri Editor on June 21, 2017 in

Wasafiri Magazine will be on sale at this year’s London Radical Bookfair courtesy of The Word Bookshop.

Radical booksellers, publishers, artists and activists of all stripes are setting up in the Great Hall at Goldsmiths University to host the 5th London Radical Bookfair. 

With over 130 exhibitors and 20 guest speakers, this will be a unique gathering of progressive readers, thinkers and doers, in a celebration of radical publishing and politics. 

The free event is organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB),  which formed in 2011 to raise awareness of the radical book trade. The fair provides an annual opportunity to bring Britain’s radical booksellers together to meet in person with publishers and the reading public.

And it’s also an opportunity for us to host award ceremonies for the ARB’s two annual book prizes — the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing and the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award. Shortlisted authors from the two awards will give talks and participate in panel discussions throughout the day.

As in previous years, we’ll be showcasing the depth and breadth of radical publishing. While there are currently other book fairs dedicated to progressive titles, they tend to focus on tightly defined political traditions. The aim of the London Radical Bookfair is to be a broad church that brings together these traditions and make them accessible to a wider audience.

This year’s bookfair is supported by the Centre for Cultural Studies, with the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Media and Communications, Politics and International Relations, Sociology, Visual Culture, and Goldsmiths Press.  Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Muslim, Female and Feminist: In Words and Images

Muslim, Female and Feminist: In Words and Images

By Wasafiri Editor on March 8, 2017 in

Muslim, Female and Feminist: In Words and Images

Thursday 13 April 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm

The Library, 112 St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4BD

What does it mean to be Young, Muslim and feminist today? Is the West obsessed by the way Muslim women look? Can we look beyond the veil to women’s relationship to faith, faithlessness, fashion and liberation? Join us for readings and a panel discussion on Muslim identities, photography and literature in this event hosted by Wasafiri Magazine and chaired by its deputy editor, Arifa Akbar.

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British Egyptian poet, playwright, librettist and TV screenwriter from London. Her poetry collection is called How You Might Know Me. She has won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award and has been an Associate Playwright at the Bush Theatre. Her play, Chef, won a 2014 Fringe First Award and her essay, ‘Wearing Where You’re At: Immigration and UK Fashion’ featured in the award-winning 2016 anthology, The Good Immigrant. She has edited the short stories anthology, The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, published in April 2017, with contributions from leading writers, and will be on sale at this event. Other work includes With a Little Bit of Luck, Clean, Battleface and the love i feel is red.

Amaal Said is a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet based in London. Her photographs have been featured in VogueThe Guardian and The New Yorker. She is concerned with storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. She is a member of the Burn After Reading poetry Collective as well as the Octavia Collective, and she is a Barbican Young Poet. She won Wasafiri Magazine’s New Writing Prize for poetry in 2015.

Ayisha Malik holds a BA in English Literature and Sociology, and a First Class MA in Creative Writing. She worked at Penguin Random House before moving to Cornerstones where she was managing editor for five years. Her debut novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick in 2016. The book has also been optioned for TV. The sequel, The Other Half of Happiness, is out April 2017. Ayisha is the ghost writer for Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain’s book,The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. She is working on her third novel, as well as Nadiya’s second book.

Free but you must reserve a ticket.

To reserve a place at the event, visit our Eventbrite page.

Welcome Wasafiri Magazine to Goldsmiths

Welcome Wasafiri Magazine to Goldsmiths

By Wasafiri Editor on January 19, 2017 in

You are invited to an afternoon’s symposium of discussion with leading scholars in the fields of post-war British Black and Asian Literature with readings by leading writers, sponsored by Wasafiri:

3.30pm–5.30pm – Richard Hoggart Building

Prof. John McLeod (University of Leeds)
Dr. Malachi McIntosh (Runnymede Trust)
Prof. Susheila Nasta (The Open University),
Dr James Procter (Newcastle University)
Dr. Suzanne Scafe (London Southbank University)
Dr Paul Warmington (University of Warwick)
Chair: Dr Deirdre Osborne (Goldsmiths)
Respondent: Dr Valerie Kaneko Lucas (Regent’s University)

At 6pm the event will launch THE FIRST CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO BRITISH BLACK AND ASIAN LITERATURE (1945-2010) with a drinks reception with readings from Courttia Newland and Moniza Alvi, which marks the arrival WASAFIRI to its new home at Goldsmiths.

To book your FREE place, please email Heather Marks at:

Unsettled Poetics: Australian Launch

Unsettled Poetics: Australian Launch

By Wasafiri Editor on November 25, 2016 in

Wasafiri is a major platform for international writing, and this is the first time it has featured either Australian or South African poetry. This special issue includes new work by thirteen Australian and South African poets, including Ali Cobby Eckermann, Kate Fagan, Antjie Krog, Michael Farrell, Natalie Harkin, Rustum Kozain, Ingrid de Kok and Mxolisi Nyezwa, as well as essays, interviews and reviews, bringing together 24 contributors from both countries. Together they explore the way in which poetic craft inhabits and unsettles the process of colonial conquest and its aftermath in their respective countries.

Paul Carter will launch the issue, Ben Etherington, the editor, will give an overview, followed by readings from Kate Fagan, Michael Farrell, Fiona Hile, Gig Ryan, and Ann Vickery.

Print Activism in Twenty-First Century Africa

Print Activism in Twenty-First Century Africa

By Wasafiri Editor on November 24, 2016 in

Print Activism in Twenty-First Century Africa:  A Wasafiri Special Issue Launch

At the George Padmore Institute, 76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN

On Thursday 8 December from 7.00pm

 Entry is Free but Booking is Essential 

The fiftieth anniversary of New Beacon Books provided the spark of inspiration for this latest Special Issue of Wasafiri, which explores continuities and discontinuities in activist print cultures in Africa and the African diaspora.
Ruth Bush and Madhu Krishnan, guest editors of this Special Issue, say:
We sought … to signal pathways that link from those important heritage initiatives to current trends in African and African diasporic book publishing; pathways marked by an enduring fidelity to print as a means for exchanging ideas. Where bookshops and independent publishers such as New Beacon and Bogle L’Ouverture in London, Présence Africaine in Paris or Third World Press in Chicago once flourished as hubs for political and intellectual thought, the digital mediascape now provides unprecedented space and means for raising oppositional voices and forming complex communities of writers and readers.
Come and hear Sulaiman Adebowale (Amalion Publishing), Ruth Bush, Mary Jay(African Books Collective) and Madhu Krishnan discuss the trends and challenges for print activism in twenty-first-century Africa, as well as Nick Makoha read some of his poetry.
To reserve a place at the event, contact New Beacon Books:
Tel. 020 7272 4889