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Poet Dean Atta to help make history at UK’s first ever book festival dedicated to writers of colour

PERFORMANCE: Dean Atta

PERFORMANCE: Dean Atta

DEAN ATTA will help make history next month as he joins other acclaimed black authors in the UK’s first ever book festival dedicated to ethnic writers.

The I’m Nobody’s N****r poet will feature in the BareLit Festival alongside the award-winning author Tendai Huchu and the UK’s first black sci-fi author Tosin Coker in highlighting authors of colour in the publishing industry.

Founded by Media Diversified, the BareLit Festival is set to take place at on February 26 and 27 at the Freeword learning centre and Betsey Trotwood pub, both in Farringdon, London.

The non-profit organisation Media hopes to stress the amazing work being produced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers, most of whom are underrepresented in the UK.

According to the event’s website, three of the UK’s largest literary festivals featured over 2000 authors, but only four per centwere from Black Caribbean, Black African, South Asian or East Asian backgrounds.

The BareLit Festival is set to be a free event, however Samantha Asumadu, the founder of Media Diversified, is hoping to raise funds for the festival with an Indiegogo campaign, in the hopes it will be the first of many annual BareLit festivals.

“Bare Lit will give a destination to hopefully hundreds of people who haven’t felt compelled to go to a literary festival before or felt uninspired when they did because either they didn’t see any, or very few, writers of colour, they read or they could discover,” Asumadu told the Guardian.

“We trust that London’s literary community will attend, as they really need to. If we don’t value writers of colour and they are not seen and heard as much as their white peers they are even less likely to get published.”

WORDS: Hazelann Williams

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