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The New Nature Writing: Testament and Zakiya Mckenzie in Conversation
July 19 @ 19:30 – 20:30 BST
The changing seasons of the year are an endless source of strangeness and wonder. GIFTS OF GRAVITY AND LIGHT invites you to experience Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter through fourteen different voices. Greet the arrival of spring in East London with a Cambodian new year’s dance; watch sea otters at play in the summer sun; gather armfuls of hops in a Romany song to the autumn; yield to the icy stillness of winter in the Cairngorms or pine for ‘sun drunk’ days of a Jamaican childhood.
With a foreword by Bernardine Evaristo and contributions from Jackie Kay, Kaliane Bradley, Pippa Marland, Testament, Michael Malay, Tishani Doshi, Jay Griffiths, Luke Turner, Anita Roy, Raine Geoghegan, Zakiya McKenzie, Alys Fowler, Amanda Thomson and Simon Armitage, this almanac reflects not only the diversity of the writers featured, but the endlessly changing natural world itself.
Testament is a Hip Hop MC, beatboxer and the author of Black Men Walking, a play inspired by the Sheffield Black Men Walk for Health group, and by historical documentation of black walkers in the Peak District centuries ago. He is based in West Yorkshire.
Zakiya McKenzie was born in London, grew up in Jamaica and now lives in Bristol where she is studying for her PhD. She is a passionate spokeswoman for trees, and in 2019 she was chosen to become a writer-in-residence for Forestry England. She is the author of the Rough Trade Books pamphlet, TESTIMONIES ON THE HISTORY OF JAMAICA, VOL. 1.