May Ayim: Borderless & Brazen

07th June 2019 18:00
St Pancras Room, Kings Place
90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Poet in the City Producers present... May Ayim: Borderless & Brazen

Join us to celebrate the joys of the in-between through the poetry of May Ayim.

A pioneer of the Afro-German movement, Ayim’s work is rooted in community. She examines finally finding a deep sense of belonging in Germany’s African diaspora and a connection to the global diaspora via the musical tradition of blues.

With poetry and blues music at the heart of Borderless & Brazen, we will explore the lives and lyrics that exist beyond society’s perceived boundaries of identity, heritage and genre in an evening hosted by writer Olumide Popoola and featuring performances by poet Gboyega Odubanjo and musician Bumi Thomas.

London-based Olumide Popoola is a Nigerian-German writer. Her publications include essays, poetry, the novella this is not about sadness (Unrast, 2010), the play text Also by Mail (edition assemblage, 2013), the short story collection breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes (Peirene Press, 2016), as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry, the first Black German Literary Award. Olumide has a PhD in Creative Writing and has lectured in creative writing at various universities. She curated Berlin’s (Germany) inaugural international African Bookfest (2018), Writing in Migration. Her critically acclaimed novel When We Speak of Nothing was published by Cassava Republic Press in 2017 in the UK and Nigeria, and in April 2018 in the US.

Gboyega Odubanjo is a British-Nigerian poet born and raised in East London. His debut pamphlet, While I Yet Live, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2019. He is a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective, and was on the 2018/19 Barbican Young Poets cohort. He is also a member of the experimental jazz band, RESOLUTE, with whom he released an eponymous album in 2019 on East London imprint Babel Label.

Bumi Thomas is a contemporary British Nigerian- Afro Brazilian singer-songwriter whose ethereal voice stokes the soul transcendentally. Born in Glasgow and based in London her acoustic, evocative style is inspired by her multicultural heritage expressed visually and sonically. She is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores transcending cultural and ideological boundaries, using music and photography as her mediums of exploration. To experience Bumi's music is an immersion of cinematic sound that combines blues, jazz, high-life rhythms and palm wine grooves, infused with folk and delivered with soul. Her musicality is rich in texture, stimulating lyrics, haunting melodies and raw emotion.
This event is part of Poetry & Lyrics Festival 2019.

Poet in the City Producers is a group of talented 16-25 year olds to produce live events, discussions and campaigns to ensure young people have a stake in the future of poetry.

Generously supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and Lucille Graham Trust.
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