Quay Words and Libraries Unlimited are delighted to announce the acclaimed poet Tolu Agbelusi as our shared writer-in-residence during the months of February and March. Tolu will be running a series of exciting workshops, events and chances to meet-the- writer online, all with a focus on exploring the stories of Exeter’s women. She is seeking contributions from the general public.
Over the next two months, we invite you to share your stories. Tolu is inviting members of the public in Exeter to share stories about remarkable women from the city and surrounds. This could be your mother, a teacher, a group of friends, etc. Email a picture of them or a place in Exeter that reminds you of them and up to 200 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is 31st March. These offerings will be incorporated into a production at the end of the residency.
Tolu will be researching and exploring the archives in Exeter Library as well as the history of Exeter Custom House in order to find stories about the women in Exeter’s past. This will sit alongside stories gathered from our open call, and from her digital workshops and meet-the-writer sessions.
Tolu will be reading from her new poetry collection Locating Strongwoman and talking about her plans for the residency in a digital event on 19th February 2021 at 6.30pm. You can book online at exetercustomhouse.org.uk and librariesevolve.org.uk. The dates for her upcoming workshops will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tolu Agbelusi is the author of Locating Strongwoman (Jacaranda Books 2020). A Nigerian British poet, playwright, educator and human rights lawyer. She was shortlisted for the 2018 White Review Poetry Prize and Longlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Prize in 2017 and 2019. Her work has been published internationally including in Aké Review, White Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Brittle Paper and Peepal Tree’s Filligree Anthology. Tolu has performed on many stages including atCheltenham Lit Festival, Stanza International Poetry Festival, Lagos International Poetry Festival Poetry Africa & Women of the World Festival. She is the founder of Home Sessions, a poetry development program for young Black poets and she also facilitates a variety of workshops for schools, universities, festivals, etc. For more information about her work, visit ToluAgbelusi.com
Quay Words is a partnership between Exeter Canal and Quay Trust and Literature Works, the literature development charity for South West England. Quay Words is based at the historic Exeter Custom House on Exeter Quayside. It showcases literature as an accessible and diverse art form and is funded by Arts Council England until May 2022 to continue developing this Grade 1 listed building as a hub for literature at the heart of Exeter – a newly-designated UNESCO City of Literature. For further information, please visit the Quay Words website: www.exetercustomhouse.org.uk
Exeter Library is the city centre flagship library of Libraries Unlimited, with over 1km of shelves containing over 60,000 books, CDs and DVDs. One of the busiest public buildings in the South West of England, the library has a reserve stack of approximately 150,000 items and the Special Collections Archive consists of early printed books ranging in date from an Incunable of 1480 to c.1900. Additional resources include large children’s library, a dedicated teen area, Business and IP Centre, FabLab, meeting rooms, public access PCs and café. Exeter Library is hosting Tolu as part of the Evolve programme.