On the 20th October I went to the book launch of Black and Gay in the UK, hosted by Rikki Beadle-Blair and John Russell Gordon. It was on the 4th floor of Waterstones in Piccadilly (word to the wise TAKE THE LIFT! Those stairs are deceptively exhausting!)
It was a lovely intimate and yet bustling environment. Every time I go to one of Rikki's events I'm fascinated by the vast, eclectic peoples whom attend; all from varying backgrounds and lifestyles: Photographers, fashionistas, writers, models, athletes, musicians, actors, poets...the list goes on.
Rikki and John spoke about their relentless and successful endeavour to have unsung literary voices heard and on the table, in the middle of the room, were the plethora books that are now available under their broad publishing wings.
'Wow', I thought, 'They simply chose to become publishers and made it happen!' And, I think, this is why I cherish attending John and Rikki's events, because it's always a celebration of achievements and not only of their own; they constantly promote other talents too. Most of all, these gatherings serve as a constant reminder to myself, to be disciplined, work hard, be focussed and know that achievements will follow. To be surrounded by people who are physically doing progressive and benevolent work is contagious; how could I not be motivated by it all?
The night progressed with generous servings of wine whilst extracts, from the book, were read by a few of the contributing writers. It was a great chance to hear talented authors speak their words and on such diverse and contrasting subjects.
I always worry that poetry nights will turn into something a little cringe worthy- It does carry that stigma. Yet within that space; with those people (and the wine hehehe) I felt very at home and connected to them all.
Out we spilled onto the streets of Piccadilly; politely ushered by the courteous Waterstones staff who also shared in the this most significant event. We were enjoying ourselves so much the time had slipped by, alas, it was time to go.
I genuinely had a lovely evening. I think it's a wonderful achievement and I'm proud to say that I was there to be a part of it.
Hazzar! (that's how I celebrate)
Black and Gay in the UK is now available at: Waterstones
For more books from Team Anglica Publishing: Click Here
Travis Alabanza, a poet featured in Black and Gay is hosting a Poetry Night. For details: Click Here
For an article also written about the launch click: MAD NEWS