We’re not quite done with our digital salon series. Today we feature author and publisher Kadija George. It is not too late for you to support these women writers as Yari Yari Ntoaso draws near. Donations continue to be accepted via Paypal and check; Visit www.indiegogo.com/owwa!
Zora: I write because…
KG: It’s like a healthy snack in between my breakfast, dinner, and lunch which is the activism work I do – It’s very enjoyable, often hidden but absolutely necessary to my sanity and survival!
Zora: If you were only allowed to own one piece of literature by a single author (e.g novel, short story collection, memoir, poetry collection), what work would you choose and why?
ZG: This isn’t a fair question. I need to have one for each genre, so just know that I’m allowed to change this if anyone asks me, so today I will say Segu by Maryse Conde. Why? Because of the way she presents an epic African tale in a contemporary way. It is one of the few books that I really want to read again -something I rarely have the time to do .
Zora: Has the emergence of new media or electronic forms of outreach (e.g., blogging, social media) changed how you write or interact with readers?
KG: The only thing that has changed for me is that I have forced myself to work directly on to my computer rather than handwriting first, but I still keep my drafts and number them, and I still ‘think’ and do some edits on paper. It has changed how I interact with writers I work with in regards to their professional development so yes, I expect it to change how I interact with readers although I haven’t found the most satisfying/comfortable way to do that yet.
Zora:What is your proudest artistic moment thus far?
ZG: I’m proud of all my artistic achievements so there isn’t ‘one’ – I don’t want to upset the other achievements
Zora: What should people know about women writers in and of the African Diaspora?
KG: That one, does not speak for all. We are a wide range of voices, in different languages, tones, colours and emotions.
Zora: Why should people support this year’s Yari Yari Ntoaso indiegogo campaign?
ZG: These are tough times and however people have supported Yari Yari so far, is wonderful. It goes to show that it is needed and that that the team who have made it happen this year are marvelous. They could have given up after their charismatic leader Jayne Cortez passed away but they renewed their energies and moved forward. It couldn’t have been easy. What it does show is that women need this – it has been a struggle financially for many of us to get there – but we know that it will be worth it as the support and vibe that emanates from this gathering is unique (a word I rarely use) and I’m sure we will be looking forward to planning and ensuring that there will be a 4th one.
Zora: How can Zora Magazine and our readers learn more about you and your work?
Readers can visit SABLE LitMag to learn more about me and my work.
** Kadija (George) Sesay is a graduate of Birmingham University (Maj. West African Studies). She is the founder/publisher of SABLE LitMag, and SABLE LitFest. She is the editor of several anthologies of work by writers of African and Asian descent, the latest fiction one being, Dreams Miracles and Jazz: New Adventures in African Fiction (Picador Africa 2008) edited with Helon Habila. She is the series editor for the Inscribe imprint for Peepal Tree Press, their first anthology is Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry (2010). Other anthologies include, Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa (with Nii Ayikwei Parkes) and IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (with Courttia Newland) and Write Black, and Write British: From Post Colonial to Black British Literature. She is also an Associate Editor for Callaloo, the premier journal of arts, letters, and cultures of the African Diaspora. She has published her own poetry, short stories, essays and articles in magazines, journals, anthologies and encyclopedias in the UK, USA and Africa and has been broadcast on BBC World Service. She is the General Secretary of African Writers Abroad (PEN) Centre, a fellow of the George Bell Institute, a Fellow of the Kennedy Arts Centre of Performance Arts Management and an associate of Vision Quest International. She has received several awards for her work in the creative arts.