For the Not Quite Right For Us tour we are pleased to be presented digitally under the chapter headings in partnership with festivals and venues aroudn the UK, as well as additional events further afield. This page will be updated regularly as more events are confirmed so do check back for details of how you will be able to join and watch them.

Upcoming Events

Cheltenham Thursday 14 October from 7-8pm – travel

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – travel

The idea of ‘travel’ brings with it the promise of glittering, sandy beaches, adventure, holiday. But that’s for those who are able to come and go as they please: one person’s exploration is another’s exploitation. For many, ‘travel’ has been ‘not quite right’ for centuries, bringing conquest and oppression, inequality and ecological disaster, prejudice and walls to keep out ‘the other’. Hear five authors’ takes on this theme, from a play by Gabriel Gbadamosi (voiced by actors Joe Hughes, Danny Nutt, Owen Oakeshott and Rex Obano) and a short story by Aminatta Forna (illustrated by Rosa Hanson Alp) to poetry by Michelle Cahill, Rishi Dastidar and Rafeef Ziadah.

Watch the film here:

Literature Works, 14 October – live-streamed Bath Spa event

With Joshua Idehen and afshan d’souza-lodhi, hosted by Lucy English and a local poet

Join us for the penultimate stop on Word Online via Bath Spa University library. This event will be a celebration of the spoken word compered by Professor Lucy English. Spoken word poets afshan d’souza-lodhi and Joshua Idehen will treat us to an individual set and will take part in a Q&A. afshan and Joshua will share the digital stage with a student from Bath Spa University, who will read from their own work. This event is open to all!

This event will be live-streamed on Crowdcast, ‘save your seat here.

Norwich, National Centre for Writing, Thursday 28 October – yesterday/today

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – yesterday/today

In these days of restrictions, the quieter, slower pace of the world is a good time to reflect on how our yesterdays have created what we are today. From the personal trials of overcoming prejudice and creating ground-breaking, often lonely, paths, to the political decisions to stand up for equality and make visible that which has been hidden, these are stories of being ‘not quite right’ that need to be shared. The poems of E. Ethelbert Miller (alongside art by Jon Daniel), Andy Jackson and John Mateer and the memoirs of Paul Burston and Olive Senior give us pause for thought as we learn just how much personal and public histories can teach us.

Register for a free place here:

Manchester Literature Festival 1-14 November – work

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – work

Very few of us can avoid working but, even if we do manage to hook that ‘dream’ job, it doesn’t stay perfect for long. Sooner or later, we find we – or the job – is ‘not quite right’ in some way. From the whimsical or tyrannical boss (often the same person), to structural inequality in large institutions, there seems little escape from the workplace blues — even for superheroes. Listen to the memoirs of Colin Grant, Kerry Hudson, Johny Pitts and Jethro Soutar, accompanied by photos from those times, and be surprised to learn about the dark underside of life as a comic-book hero in a story by new writer Fergal Harte (voiced by actor Rex Obano, with artwork by Jazz Dunn).

Find out how to watch here:

Write and Shine Live Online Event Tuesday 9 November 7.30am-8.30am – Writing in Uncertainty (free event) 

Join us for an event on Tuesday 9 November about writing, creativity and uncertainty.  

Sydney-based author and founder of disabled-led arts organisation Outlandish Arts, Gaele Sobott will be in conversation with Write & Shine’s Gemma Seltzer to discuss how to write of the challenging times we’re living through.  

Gaele writes across literary genres, from children’s literature to poetry film, always exploring new ways to capture her experiences in words. In this event, we’ll think about the role uncertainty plays in our writing and how embracing discomfort is an inherent part of the creative process—and of life itself.  

FInd more information and book here:

Radical Book Fair, Edinburgh with Lighthouse Books – Sunday 14 November – friends

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – friends 

Friends, the people we choose to let into our lives, can be a joy and gives us the support we need … but they can also make us feel ‘not quite right’. These are the relationships we continually re-negotiate through life’s twists and turns. Sometimes, we can’t say what we feel, sometimes we swallow the hurt, sometimes actions speak louder than words. Explore how friendship works through the poetry of Helen Mort, Ashleigh Nugent, Jamie Thrasivoulou and Tim Wells, all accompanied by striking images (by artists David Blight, Becky Bryson, Phill Jupitus and Jim Mottram), and in Tabish Khair’s social media-savvy story. 

Find more information and book here:

British Library 15 November – childhood

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – childhood

Our early years should be carefree, stress-free, worry-free. Yet all too often we’re made to feel ‘not quite right’ in some way, whether that’s in the way we dress, the music we like or, more insidiously, because of the colour of our skin. And school days bring their own issues of peer pressure, teaching lessons beyond the classroom. What if, on top of all this, we find the very notion of ‘childhood’ lacking or very different in the place we grew up and the place we become parents? These are some of the complex issues examined by Jay Bernard, afshan d’souza-lodhi, Xiaolu Guo, John Hegley and Catherine Johnson through poetry and prose, film, audio and image. 

The film will be shown on 15 November – book your place to view here:

Speaky Spokey, Brighton 2 December – family – film plus live readings 

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – family

We take family for granted, don’t we? Even when they may be dysfunctional, there’s always the odd memory of some happy moments, at least. But family – whether blood or chosen – can be hard work too. Whether they give us protection – or not – or need protecting from harsh truths, our family histories and stories are inextricably intertwined, for better or worse. Find out how family can be ‘not quite right for us’ through the poetry and prose of Maame Blue, Joshua Idehen, Cheryl Martin, Shagufta Sharmeen Tania and Byron Vincent, accompanied by evocative images and photos (by Sarah Ushurhe, Adelaide Ivanova, Efea Rutlin and David Blight).

Event details to follow.

Past Events

Housmans Book Launch – online talk and films

With Mitch Albert, Sharmilla Beezmohun and Colin Grant

Online launch event – talk and readings plus taster film.

Didsbury Arts Festival, 1 June – online live reading

With afshan d’souza-lodhi

Recording of event to be found here (she reads from anthology at c.19 minute mark): 

Bradford Lit Fest, 27 June for 5 days – love

‘Not Quite Right for Us’: Tales of Love

Featuring Amina Atiq, Richard Georges, Leone Ross, Gaele Sobott and Selina Tusitala Marsh

Love touches us all at some point — from dependable familial bonds to the warm comfort of childhood pets, from the heady perfume of romance to the cherished appreciation of community, culture, country. The physical and emotional connections transcend barriers, cross generations and borders. And yet, love can sometimes be ‘not quite right’, taking where it should be giving, causing destruction — even as we still love. Watch this film featuring authors from the Not Quite Right for Us anthology, where Amina Atiq, Richard Georges, Leone Ross, Gaele Sobott and Selina Tusitala Marsh tell some of the myriad love stories that make up our lives.

Literature Works, 8 July – live-streamed Wiltshire libraries event 

With Cheryl Martin, Gaele Sobott and Nick Makoha

Word Online makes its seventh stop via Wiltshire Libraries.

We are delighted to be hosting writer Gaele Sobott and poets Raman Mundair and Nick Makoha reading and in conversation. This event is a collaboration with Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions. The writers will read work featured in Speaking Volumes and Flipped Eye’s forthcoming anthology Not Quite Right For Us – due for publication in May.

Queensland Poetry Festival 22 August, 6pm Australian EST – poetry – film on Facebook Premiere

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – Poetry 1

Poets have always had the knack of hitting the nail on the head, saying what’s wrong and what needs to change. They know that ‘not quite right for us’ is a way to keep people down, sow division, breed discontent. Telling stories of powerlessness and oppression creates a spirit of resistance and brings real hope of change; words and poetry as a weapon in the battle for better days, for better lives for all.

POETRY 1: Amina Atiq, Francesca Beard, Jay Bernard, Richard Georges, John Hegley, Joshua Idehen, Andy Jackson, Laniyuk, Jamie Thrasivoulou

Ilkley Friday 1 October at 5.30pm – today/tomorrow

Available until 7 Oct

‘Not Quite Right for Us’ – today/tomorrow

‘Whoever controls the past controls the present; whoever controls the present controls the future’ wrote George Orwell in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. We need to constantly look back at history and relate it to today, in order to reach for the stars tomorrow. Although things may have been ‘not quite right’ at one time, or even now, there is always hope — and ways to come together to make a real change. Explore how today and tomorrow collide in poems by Francesca Beard and Laniyuk, and these essays by Nazneen Khan-Østrem, Nick Makoha and Raman Mundair.

Speaking Volumes Presents ‘Not Quite Right for Us’: Tales of Today/Tomorrow

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