Sunday, 29 October 2017
‘Writers narrate the times, we report from the trenches, and write from the front line and the breadline, from the guts and from the heart.’
Hello! I hope you’ve been enjoying the updates on Others. We have a brilliant line-up of authors who will be exploring how literature can break down barriers of understanding and imagination, showing how we ourselves are ‘other’ to those we want to set apart as different, dangerous and unknowable. You’ll see from the updates so far that we’re covering topics including deafness, neurodiversity, mental health and disability, the divisions of skin colour and politics, and the anonymising forces of the city, the clinic and the asylum reception centre.
I’m really excited to announce that Salena Godden is joining the line-up of Others contributors. Described by Ian McMillan as ‘the doyenne of the spoken-word scene’, Salena is a poet and writer whose collections include Fishing In The Aftermath: Poems 1994–2014 (Burning Eye Books) and Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press). She is author of the literary memoir Springfield Road, and was shortlisted for this year’s Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry, with her live spoken-word album LIVEwire, released with independent spoken word label Nymphs and Thugs. LIVEwire is available now on CD, digital download, full-colour zine and double LP vinyl. Salena's short fiction ‘Blue Cornflowers’ was shortlisted for the 2016 4th Estate/Guardian short story prize, and was published in April 2017 in the anthology Bare Lit. This summer Salena was shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Performer in the Saboteur Awards and for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. Salena’s essay ‘Shade’ appeared in the award-winning anthology The Good Immigrant, published to huge acclaim in 2016.
I’m excited to be invited to contribute to Others. This will be my third publication with Unbound. Both my childhood literary memoir Springfield Road and The Good Immigrant were only made possible by people power and the kindness and generosity of strangers, by people wanting to see these stories in print, by being published with Unbound's brilliant and bold team and the support of the Unbound readership. I am constantly astonished by the support of Unbound in working hard to make light shine on under-represented authors, women authors, women of colour and all other marginalised writers in the spectrum. Unbound turn up the volume on the voiceless, offer visibility and a platform to writers that may otherwise be ignored or sidelined.
In my essay ‘Shade’ in The Good Immigrant I used the phrasing ‘We tick: Other’ as a chorus and as a call to arms, and I hope with this new anthology Others we will keep this conversation going. I believe that if we do not start supporting, promoting and publishing more work by ‘Others’, we only pass on half of our inheritance, half of our heritage, half of the story. Writers narrate the times, we report from the trenches, and write from the front line and the breadline, from the guts and from the heart. We live here, in these tumultuous times, and this writing is valuable as it is sharing our fury and our struggle and our triumphs too. If we only hear from the dominant great white shark, we misunderstand, we miss out, we miss all the other diverse voices and colourful fish in the sea.
Like Springfield Road and The Good Immigrant, Others is crowdfunded and entirely depends on your generosity as supporters. Please help us to get this project funded, and help us to spread the word to others who might support the book.