Winner, "Best Anthology" at the Saboteur Awards 2017.
The result of the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize, launched in late 2015, this is a collection of thoughtful and poignant responses to the story of David Oluwale, hounded to his death in the River Aire in 1969. The 1971 trial in Leeds, UK, of the two policemen accused of his manslaughter brought David's plight briefly into the national spotlight; newspaper reports by Ron Phillips, a BBC radio play by Jeremy Sandford and poetry by Linton Kwesi Johnson followed. Then David was mostly forgotten, while the issues that he embodied – hostility to migration, racism, mental ill-health, homelessness, police malpractice and destitution – continued to scar British society, still making headlines fifty years on.
Remembering Oluwale includes extracts from recent books about David by Caryl Phillips and Kester Aspden, as well as poems responding to his story by Ian Duhig, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sai Murray, Zodwa Nyoni, and many other contemporary writers. The resulting body of work serves as an introduction to some fascinating new voices in UK literature, and also as a clarion call for us to re-make our neighbourhoods as places of inclusion, acceptance and hospitality.
‘In Claudia Rankine’s poem ‘Citizen’ the speaker is asked in England if she will write about Mark Duggan. She replies “Why don’t you?” Our competition entrants rose to that challenge over David Oluwale’s story and its continuing echoes for our society in new and moving ways. Their work stands confidently beside that of better-known writers in an anthology all can be proud of, a document of their refusal to be silent in the face of abusive power.’
— Ian Duhig, Forward Poetry Prize winner, T.S. Eliot Prize shortlistee; most recent collection Pandorama (2010)
‘I was amazed how this haunting story from almost 50 years ago still has the power to move and to inspire a younger generation of writers. The fine pieces in this anthology show just how much it resonates with issues that continue to trouble us today.’
— Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (2005) and, most recently, The Lubetkin Legacy (2016)
‘The passion and moral urgency informing these new voices gives one hope for the future of both imaginative writing and our society’s health.’
— Caryl Phillips, writer, Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, and author of The Lost Child (2015)
Date Published: 2016-06-02
Catalogue Number: VP0088
Number of Pages: 138
Cover artwork by Sai Murray
Cover design by Rosa Campbell
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