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Bernardine Evaristo

b. 1959

Bernardine Evaristo was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004.

Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books and numerous other works that span the genres of novels, poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essays, literary criticism, and radio and theatre drama. Her writing and projects are based around her interest in the African diaspora. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

Her verse novel The Emperor’s Babe was adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2013 and her novella Hello Mum was adapted as a BBC Radio 4 play in 2012. In 2015 she wrote and presented a two-part BBC Radio 4 documentary called Fiery Inspiration: Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement.

She guest-edited the UK Sunday Times Style magazine in July 2020 with a black women & womxn take-over, and she has edited several other publications. Her literary criticism and other writing has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, ObserverTimesIndependent, New Statesman, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Conde Nast Traveller. She has also judged many literary awards and is on the Editorial Board of the African Poetry Book Fund (USA) for all its publications and prizes.

Since 1996 she has accepted many invitations to undertake international visits as a writer. She gives readings, talks, delivers keynotes, chairs panels and delivers creative writing activities and courses. In 2019 she was the inaugural Woolwich Laureate, appointed by the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival. She is reconnecting to the home town she left at eighteen and writing about it.

The first monograph on her work, Fiction Unbound by Sebnem Toplu, was published in August 2011 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. A second monograph by Ester Gendusa was published in Italy in 2015. Her books have been, or will be, translated into nearly 40 languages.

A staunch and longstanding activist and advocate for the inclusion of artists and writers of colour, Bernardine has initiated several successful schemes to ensure increased representation in the creative industries.

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Image credit: Marlon James


News stories relating to Bernardine Evaristo

Now Free -RSL/Booker Prize Foundation Masterclass: writing a novel

25/05/2016

This Masterclass is now FREE of charge Saturday 2 July, 2.00pm-5.00pm, Brontë Room, British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB RSL Booker Prize Foundation Masterclass with Bernardine Evaristo. A workshop exploring all the elements …

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Writing the Future: Black and Asian Authors and Publishers in the UK Marketplace

16/04/2015

A new report commissioned by Spread the Word, London’s writer development agency, reveals that the publishing industry’s poor commitment to diversity is putting it at risk of becoming culturally irrelevant. Writers, literary agents and mainstream and i …

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