Education, Rights and Migration

There are lots of fantastic events happening at Universities across the North of England which connect local and international issues.  On Friday 26 February, the School of English at the University of Leeds is hosting an event on Remembering Human Rights in an Age of Crisis in partnership with the David Oluwale Memorial Association. Speakers include Gary Younge, Caryl Phillips, Corinne … Continue reading Education, Rights and Migration

Aikin Mata

It was my privilege to meet Tony Harrison at his home in Newcastle on a wet October afternoon. We sat at his kitchen table drinking strong coffee, and talking about his early years in Leeds and his work at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Northern Nigeria, where he worked from 1962-1966. Tony Harrison is often referred to as 'Britain's leading … Continue reading Aikin Mata

Nigerian Student Verse (1960)

I recently had the honour of meeting Professor Martin Banham, one of the great authorities on Nigerian theatre and Director of the Workshop Theatre in Leeds, 1966-1998. We met on a windy October morning in the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Martin handed me a rare copy of Nigerian Student Verse (Ibadan, 1960): a slim anthology offering … Continue reading Nigerian Student Verse (1960)

Wole Soyinka in Leeds

Wole Soyinka was a student in Leeds in the late 1950s, where he worked with Tony Harrison, James Simmons and Geoffrey Hill. The extensive archives in Special Collections at the Brotherton Library contain fascinating pictures, manuscripts and letters from this time, including photos of Soyinka performing alongside contemporaries including Barry Cryer, Simmons and Harrison at the Empire Theatre on Briggate. It was … Continue reading Wole Soyinka in Leeds