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When Bad Things Happen

  • Toynbee Studios 28 Commercial Street London, England, E1 6BD United Kingdom (map)

A panel discussion on writers' experiences of creating fiction addressing themes of violence and trauma. How and why do we tread the difficult ground when we might be accused of triggering readers, making light of suffering or sensationalism?

Panellists: Guilaine Kinouani (chair), Robyn Travis (Mama Can't Raise No Man, 2016), Olumide Popoola (When We Speak of Nothing, 2017), Nasrin Parvaz (Words And Women: Four, 2017),  Stephen Thompson (No More Heroes, 2015).

Guilaine is a therapist, feminist and equality consultant currently working toward a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Before this, she completed a degree in Cultural Studies and studied Counselling Psychology after obtaining a Masters in Transcultural Mental Health. Professionally, Guilaine has worked with some of the most marginalised and disenfranchised groups in various roles, and as a result she is particularly interested in liberatory, community psychology and more socially informed approaches to wellness and wellbeing.

Robyn Travis author of Mama Can’t Raise No Man (Debut Novel) and Prisoner to the Streets (Memoirs)is currently working on his next novel as well as a screenplay. His first book Prisoner to the Streets - a real life account of his journey from London ૺgangsૻ to author – has received widespread praise. In 2016 he was reported as the only black British Male debut novelist.

London-based Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola is a writer, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, the novella this is not about sadness (Unrast, 2010), the play text Also by Mail (edition assemblage, 2013), the short collection breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes (Peirene Press, 2016), as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry, the first Black German Literary Award. Olumide has a PhD in Creative Writing and has lectured in creative writing at various universities. Her novel When We Speak of Nothing will be published by Cassava Republic Press in July 2017.

Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. In 1993, she fled to England. Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002, and it was published in Italian in 2006. Nasrin has given talks on the violation of human rights in Iran in number of countries. Her writings appeared in different anthologies. ‘The Times of Assassination’ that she read at Bare Lit festival last year is published in Words and Women, March 2017.

Stephen Thompson was born in London. His most recent novel is No More Heroes, about the 7/7 bombings. His first novel, Toy Soldiers, was published in 2000 and described by Hanif Kureishi as ;beautifully written, painfully honest and deeply affecting'. His second novel, Missing Joe, about the Windrush generation, was published in 2002. 2007 saw the publication of his third novel, Meet Me Under The Westway, a satirical account of life in London's theatre land. He is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester and is the editor and publisher of the online literary journal, The Colverstone Review.

Earlier Event: April 23
In Experts We Trust
Later Event: April 23
Finding a Way to the Audience