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Here is the flyer for the Jamaica Rising programme of spoken word and film events celebrating the visit of the new Jamaican Poet Laureate, Professor Mervyn Morris, from Oct 9-11 2014, produced in partnership with Bristol City Council, University of Bristol, Bristol Festival of Literature and the Jamaican Government. For event details and booking information, visit this Facebook events link 

Jamaica Rising A5 flyer_DIGITAL

Welcome to YARDSTICK 2013, a festival of some of the best-established and emerging authors from across the English-speaking, African Diaspora.

Tanya Shirley. Couretsy

This year we had representation from Jamaica, Kenya, Somalia, Nigeria, DR Congo, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Somalia and Britain. The festival events in Bristol and Bath took place from June 27 to 30.

Our participating writers, partners and audiences highly commended this year’s festival:

Yardstick is a game changer - Lorna Goodison

Yardstick is a landmark festival - Mukoma Wa Ngugi

It was both creative and educational – a brilliant combination – audience member

Yardstick Festival was important in my development as a writer - Geoffrey Philp

I was left inspired and enlightened as to what I am a part of, as a writer in the diaspora – Nick Makoha

The inspirational readings, the stimulating panels…all gave me a sense of belonging to one big happy, literary family – E E Sule

This partnership has done a lot towards inspiring and reassuring our BME students that the writing world is not exclusive and limiting Sally PapworthNorth Bristol Post 16 Centre

You can find more feedback and festival photos by clicking here


Leeto Thale. Courtesy

Arts Council England has highlighted Yardstick Festival in its prestigious Annual Report 2012-13 (p19), which can be seen by clicking here

Yardstick Festival 2013 featured performances from some of today’s most creative and influential Black writers, including Warsan Shire, E E Sule, Nick Makoha, Lemn Sissay, Tanya Shirley and others that made up our delightful dozen participants.

The Yardstick Festival 2013 programme included spoken word performances, panel discussions and creative writing workshops in schools and in libraries for emerging poets.

Lemn Sissay. Courtesy

Yardstick is an initiative that seeks to develop audiences for Black authors by creating and promoting a platform for spoken word events in public venues and spaces, such as libraries. Yardstick also seeks to promote African Diaspora cultural themes through the exposure and exploration of Black writers and writing.

The festival is funded by Arts Council England through Grants for the arts.

AFRICA WRITES and COMMONWEALTH WRITERS join us as partners for 2013, helping to identify, select and promote one of the finest-ever gatherings in the UK of African and African Caribbean writers. 

We plan to forge a long term working relationship with Royal African Society and Commonwealth Foundation to embed the YARDSTICK festival and brand as a regular fixture in the annual spoken word festival calendar.

Video: Published on 19 Oct 2012, by Arts Council England.