Poetry Report: Free Verse: Opportunities for Black and Asian Poets
When the initial list for the influential Next Generation Poets was drawn up one thing stood out: there were no Black or Asian poets on the list. The judges responded by sending out a frantic call for minority ethnic names to be submitted. They knew the talent was out there, but for some reason, it was being overlooked by the people that matter: the presses.
The Arts Council of England, spurred on my Bernardine Evaristo and Moniza Ali, was determined to get to the bottom of it. As a result it commissioned me, the literary development agency Spread The Word and researcher Mel Larsen to find out what was going on, why and what could be done to stop talented Black and Asian voices being lost to posterity.
The result is Free Verse, which I edited. Its findings are shocking, but it shows that there is willing on both sides to change the situation. It also contains practical advice on everything from writing and networking to mentoring and, most important of all, getting publishing.
To download a PDF copy, click on this link: Free Verse