Sexy Times (+18)

A panel discussion exploring writing on themes of sex and erotica. We talk about changing desires, and trends in appetites, as well as sexual variation through society.

Panellists:  Arifa Akbar (chair), Valisa Iskandar (Fixi), Leone Ross (Come Let Us Sing Anyway, 2017), Meena Kandasamy (When I Hit You, 2017).

Arifa Akbar is a freelance journalist. She is a regular reviewer for Sky News, Financial Times and London Evening Standard, and has written for The Guardian, The Pool, Daily Mail, among others. A former literary editor of The Independent where she worked from 2001 until 2016, she is now also the curator of M-Fest: a Muslim Festival of Books and Ideas, launching in 2018, and deputy editor of Wasafiri magazine. She is a trustee on the board of the Orwell Prize and on the advisory committee for English PEN’s writing in translation programme.

Leone Ross writes magic realism, erotica and psychological drama. She has published two critically praised novels, All The Blood Is Red and Orange Laughter. Her short fiction was shortlisted for the V.S Pritchett Prize and Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize. She is Senior Lecturer at Roehampton University. Says Rob Shearman: "To read Ross' stories is to be witness to an expert conjuring act in which fantasy and reality collide in breathtaking, beautiful ways. She sees the world through fractured glass, but the reflection is somehow inspiring and true." Ross’s short story collection, Come Let Us Sing Anyway is out June 5th with Peepal Tree Press.

Valisa Iskandar was born in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia and lives in London where she runs Fixi London. In the past she worked as a copywriter, journalist, philosophy tutor, branding and marketing consultant in Europe and Asia.

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, translator and activist who lives in Chennai and London. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms. Militancy, and the critically acclaimed novel, The Gypsy Goddess. Her second novel, When I Hit You, Or, The Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife (Atlantic Books/ Juggernaut), will be published in 2017.