The new podcast series is hosted by award-winning writers; playwright, author and director, Patricia Cumper MBE and writer and creative producer, Pauline Walker – explores the backgrounds and ideas of some of Britain’s most influential and innovative writers, their inspirations and the art and craft. Every fortnight, a different guest will discuss their own unique experience of growing up in Britain, being an author, and deep dive into the topics that impacted their lives and their writing, and what it really means to be a Black and British writer and how it has impacted their writing, if at all. Guests on the podcast include Alex Wheatle MBE (author of Brixton Rock and profiled in Steve McQueen’s award-winning BBC drama Small Axe), Colin Grant (author of Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa and Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation), Diana Evans FRSL (London based award-winning, bestselling author), Hafsa Zayyan (author of We Are All Birds of Uganda and winner of Stormzy’s inaugural #Merky Books new writers’ prize), and more.
‘The Amplify Project’ guests so far include:
- Alex Wheatle MBE, author of Brixton Rock (1999), Crongton Knights (2016), Cane Warriors (2020) and profiled in Steve McQueen’s award-winning BBC drama Small Axe.
- Colin Grant, independent historian, producer for BBC radio and author of Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa (2008), Bageye at the Wheel (2012) and Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation (2019).
- Diana Evans FRSL, London based award-winning, bestselling author of 26a (2005); The Wonder (2009); Ordinary People (2018). She is also a journalist and critic.
- Hafsa Zayyan, writer and dispute resolution lawyer based in London. In 2019 Zayyan won Stormzy’s inaugural #Merky Books new writers’ prize, with her debut novel, We Are All Birds of Uganda (2019).
- Juliet Gilkes Romero, award winning writer for stage and screen, and recipient of the 2020 Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play with The Whip, the Roland Rees Bursary 2019, and the BBC World Service Alexander Onassis Research Bursary.
- Nick Makoha, founder of The Obsidian Foundation. In 2017, Nick’s debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and was one of the Guardian’s best books of the year.
- Oladipo Agboluaje, received his PhD in African Drama from Open University. Winner of the 2009 Alfred Fagon Award and is a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Award Agboluaje’s published plays include Early Morning (2003), The Estate (2006), The Christ of Coldharbour Lane (2007), and New Nigerians (2017).
About the Creators (Hosts/Producers)
About Patricia Cumper MBE
Patricia Cumper has written for stage and radio since her twenties and is still going. Her plays have been produced throughout the Caribbean and in Canada and the US. Here in the UK, she has won awards for her work in audio drama, most recently the BBC Outstanding Contribution to Audio Drama award in 2020 for her adaptation of the autobiographies of Maya Angelou. She was Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre company, then the UK’s leading black-led theatre company, for six years and was awarded an MBE for services to Black British theatre.
Click here for her website
About Pauline Walker
From a very young age, Pauline loved reading and getting lost in her imagination. She wrote her first story in primary school and had her fifteen minutes of fame when it was pinned on a notice board for the whole school to read. Fast forward a few decades and in 2017 Pauline won the platinum prize from Creative Future Literary Awards with her short story ‘The Wait’ which was published in the winner’s anthology Important Nothings alongside the work of Kit de Waal and Dean Atta, and later online by Wasafiri. Pauline is currently working on her novel Welcome Home.
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