The Remembering Oluwale anthology was an invitation to submit work celebrating the themes in David Oluwale’s life and death. Leading the process for selecting, editing and convening this book, I worked with the Remembering Oluwale charity and our panel of esteemed judges to select pieces to publish. We were far from the first group to ever write about David Oluwale, and the book included previously published work by authors Rommi Smith, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Caryl Phillips, Ian Duhig, and Zodwa Nyoni.
The book went on to win “Best Anthology” at the 2017 Saboteur Awards.
“This arresting anthology features 26 new poems and short stories, alongside the work of famous writers, responding to the story of David Oluwale. The result of the Remembering Oluwale Writing Prize, this thoughtful and poignant collection includes the full longlist.
David was hounded to his death in the River Aire in 1969. The 1971 trial in Leeds, UK, of the two policemen accused of his manslaughter generated newspaper and magazine reports by Ron Phillips, a BBC radio play by Jeremy Sandford and poetry by Linton Kwesi Johnson. Then David was forgotten. But the issues that David embodied, of hostility to migration, racism, mental ill health, homelessness, police malpractice and destitution continue to scar British society to this day.
Remembering Oluwale is an inspiring reflection on David’s story. Featuring extracts from recent books about David by Caryl Phillips and Kester Aspden, this body of new and earlier writing serves as a clarion call for us to re-make our neighbours as places of inclusion and hospitality.”
“A great city of the north really owning and owning up to its diverse and difficult histories. Art and articulacy. This is the best of modern Britain, in the face of Brexit and all other meanness and stupidity”
“This is an important anthology about social exclusion and racism, which has important resonances with today’s society. David’s story is one that needs to keep being told, especially with the recent rise in racism and jingoism.”
Currently available from Valley Press.
Find out more about the work of the Remember Oluwale charity here.