Dean Atta front cover jpeg

Dean Atta’s ‘I Am Nobody’s Nigger’ Shortlisted for the Polari Best First Book Prize!

Dean Atta’s powerful debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, has been shortlisted for the Polari Best First Book Prize. The prize is for a first book that explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English. Exploring race, identity and sexuality, I Am Nobody’s Nigger is the powerful debut collection by one of the UK’s finest emerging poets. Dean Atta has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. He won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List in 2012. The other shortlisted titles are: Petite Mort by Beatrice

Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail), Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman (Team Angelica), God’s Other Children – A London Memoir by Vernal W. Scott (self-published), and The Rubbish Lesbian by Sarah Westwood (Mimwood Press). The winner will be announced at the Polari Literary Salon on 8 October in the Purcell Room at the London Literature Festival. www.deanatta.co.uk @DeanAtta

I Am Nobody's Nigger

Dean Atta’s ‘I Am Nobody’s Nigger’ Longlisted for the Polari Best First Book Prize

Dean Atta’s powerful debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, has been longlisted for the Polari Best First Book Prize. The prize is for a first book that explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English within the twelve months of the deadline for submissions. This year, for the first time, the shortlisted books will be displayed at major WHSmith Travel outlets across the UK. Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Atta won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List

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in 2012. An ambassador for the Spirit of London Awards, he lives in London and teaches writing workshops across the UK. The shortlist of five books will be announced at the Polari Literary Salon on 8 September and the winner on 8 October at the London Literature Festival. www.deanatta.co.uk @DeanAtta

Enemy on the Euphrates

Enemy on the Euphrates OUT NOW

‘Ian Rutledge’s brilliant book reveals the folly and delusion of invading Iraq … Read it and shudder.’ Nicholas Rankin

In this centenary year, we are delighted to be publishing a military history book with a difference! Enemy on the Euphrates: The British Occupation of Iraq and the Great Arab Revolt, 1914–1921 is the definitive history of the first British occupation of Iraq during the First World War and the revolt against it in 1920 – the most serious armed uprising against British rule in the twentieth century. This lively and accessible account details the events leading up to the Iraqi ‘revolution’ of 1920, and how it came periously close to inflicting shattering defeat upon the

British Empire. Drawing on British and Arab archives, Ian Rutledge brings key decision makers such as Winston Churchill, T. E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell and Sir Mark Sykes, vividly to life, and provides evidence to show that oil was central to Britain’s Middle East policy during this period. Enemy on the Euphrates: The British Occupation of Iraq and the Great Arab Revolt, 1914–1921 is NOW AVAILABLE from all good bookshops and online. To read a sample chapter, click here.  

Syria Speaks

Syrian Writers and Artists to Tour

Leading Syrian artists will tour Britain in June to launch Syria Speaks, an anthology of art and culture from the Syrian frontline.

The line-up will include award-winning Damascus-based novelist Khaled Khalifa, cinematographer and video artist Khalil Younes, writer and film maker Zaher Omareen, and authors Malu Halasa and Robin Yassin-Kassab.

The evenings of readings, music and film begin at Rich Mix in London, then tour to Bristol, Oxford, Liverpool, Bradford and Durham. The artists will also run workshops in conjunction with English PEN at schools, Refugee Rights centres and a prison.

The book and tour, organised by Reel Festivals, aims to demonstrate how Syria’s artists are leading the country’s resistance against tyranny. Syria Speaks is the first book to provide a window on Syrian creativity since the uprising, showcasing the work of over 50 artists and writers. It has already received advance praise from A.L. Kennedy and Brian Eno, who believes the book is an ‘extraordinary collection [which] says more about Syria than many months of newspaper reading has told me. It’s a profound look into a dynamic and exciting culture in painful transition – a culture where artists are really stepping up to the plate and making a difference.’

Lynn Gaspard, Publisher, explained: ‘In Syria, courageous individuals continue to make a stand against tyranny and to create and disseminate their art and words. Syria Speaks is a unique, inspiring and devastating work, capturing over 50 artists’ and writers’ aspirations, dreams and pain. I feel very privileged and am incredibly proud to be publishing this book and to be involved in the tour, which will highlight the role of culture in times of conflict. I am very grateful to the various organisations that are supporting the UK tour. The book’s editors are also to be commended for their courage and vision, and for their determination to publish this book – it is no easy feat assembling over 35 pieces from a war-torn country.’

With English PEN, Syria Speaks will also conduct workshops at Elizabeth Garret Anderson School, London; Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol; Asylum Welcome, Oxford; Wigan Pier Workshops, Wigan; and HM Prison Low Newton, Durham.

Organised by Reel Festivals, the tour is supported by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development; CKU, the Danish Centre for Culture and Development; English PEN Promotes!; Arts Council England; the Arab British Centre; and Reel Festivals.

Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud, is published 16 June 2014, price £12.99.

Press contact Ruth Killick: publicity@ruthkillick.co.uk, 07880 703741

Nour 2014 Call Out for Submissions flyer

Nour Festival 2014 Call for Submissions

Nour Festival is now welcoming submissions from arts organisations and artists for their 2014 programme. Nour Festival is a celebration of the very best in contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture. Nour, which means light or illumination in many Middle Eastern languages, springs to life each October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and challenges preconceptions, sparks debate and provides insight into culture from across the MENA region. The festival’s highly acclaimed programme of art, film, literature, music and performance has established Nour as a crucial meeting point for East and West. With long-term leadership provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Nour is the ever-exuberant expression of a growing family of partner organisations, and in 2013 welcomed new partners such as the Royal Albert Hall, Chelsea Theatre, Kensington and Chelsea College, the

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Gate Theatre and the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. For more information on how to apply, visit their website Closing Date: 12:00 noon Wednesday 30 April 2014 Submissions will be considered throughout May and June, during which time the Nour Festival team may be in touch with you.

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Zealot to be made into a feature film

We are thrilled to announce that Lionsgate has acquired the feature film rights to Westbourne Press author Reza Aslan‘s provocative New York Times bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

Erik Feig, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group’s President of Production, said, Reza Aslan has written a remarkable book that manages to bring the ancient world into contemporary relief and to make a timeless story very timely. We are excited to create this uniquely cinematic and immersive world for moviegoers to experience.

Reza Aslan commented, ‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Lionsgate. Their vision for

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is aligned with my objective in writing the book, which was to illuminate the life of Jesus in a humanistic, as opposed to religious, context.’

Named as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Zealot challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Aslan sheds light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Zealot provides a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel, and a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time and the birth of a religion.