The Scottish Poetry Library has commissioned new poetry from Black women poets in partnership with Africa in Motion Film Festival and Obsidian Foundation. The selected poets were Tjawangwa Dema, Clementine Ewokolo Burnley and Zakia Carpenter-Hall. Each poet produced a film of their poem, and participated in an online discussion talk about their new work at an event during the festival in October 2021.
Tjawanwa Dema is the winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize, an honorary fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. Her poetry and essays on poetic pedagogies have been featured in various publications, most recently New Daughters of Africa.
Clementine E. Burnley is a 2021 Sky Arts Award Winner, an alumnus of Obsidian Foundation and a 2021 Edwin Morgan Second Life Grantee. Her work has appeared in Parabola Magazine, the National Flash Fiction Anthology and The Centifictionist.
Zakia Carpenter-Hall is an inaugural winner of Poetry London’s mentoring scheme, a 2020 Jerwood Bursary Recipient, London Library Emerging Writer and was shortlisted for The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize. Her poems have appeared in Callaloo, Magma, Wild Court, 3:AM, XR Writer’s Rebel.
The poems were included in the film festival’s themed-strand called ‘Imaginarium’, which was a response to the COP26 Glasgow Climate Change Conference. The commissions presented an enquiry into “the embodied experience of Blackness and being in the environment, the changing climate, and the need for communion with nature as a means of healing and resistance.” The Imaginarium programme considered political borders as “spatial phenomena that insidiously interfere with our perceptions of the environment. They have real implications on how we move (or do not move) through space, place, and time.”
As well as watching the films on this page or on our Youtube channel, you can read the poems on our website at the following links:
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