Special Edition: Before Them, We
Hear readings from poets featured in the anthology Before Them, We at September’s Special Edition in the National Poetry Library, with editor Ruth Sutoyé.
Before Them, We (flipped eye, 2022) is a call to action for adult grandchildren, not only to preserve their family histories, but also to pass them on to future generations – much like African traditions have been doing orally for centuries.
Exploring the lives of grandparents and elders before the families they went on to establish, digging deep into those narratives of their lives that are lesser known: who they loved, why and from where they migrated, why they had families, Before Them, We celebrates the significance of African diaspora familial relationships.
Reflecting on a moment of radical change from the way we live to the way we perceive our family relationships, Sutoyé and anthology poets and contributors share their personal stories in conversation with each other, reading from this exciting collection and engaging with the practice of memory.
The poets appearing alongside Ruth Sutoyé are Clementine E Burnley, Tania Nwachukwu, Gboyega Odubanjo and Hodan Yusuf.
Clementine E Burnley is a feminist migrant mother, writer and trainee psychotherapist. She lives in Edinburgh. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Magma, Poetry Review and The Centifictionist. She’s a 2021 Royal Society of Literature Sky Arts Award winner, an alumnus of Obsidian Foundation, and a 2021 Edwin Morgan Second Life Grantee.
Tania Nwachukwu is an Igbo actor, performer, writer and educator, born and raised in London. She is the co-founder of Black in the Day, a Barbican Young Poets alum, a member of Octavia Poetry Collective and an MA Tutor at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.
Gboyega Odubanjo was born and raised in east London. He is an editor of bath magg and the author of two poetry pamphlets, While I Yet Live and Aunty Uncle Poems.
Hodan Yusuf is a poet, writer and actor. She is also a multimedia freelance journalist, and a mediator and trainer in conflict resolution. Her essay ‘Waiting to Exhale – The Scarcity of Safe Spaces’ was published in the anthology Cut From the Same Cloth.
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