On Thursday 22nd February, 2018 the Student Success Project held the sell-out event ‘Liberated Library Book Launch and Poetry Slam’ as part of the official conclusion of the second Liberated Library campaign.
The event opened with a speech from Mariann Rand Weaver – Pro Vice Chancellor (Education) and Mo Omar VP CEDPS. They both discussed the campaigns aim to further diversify the Brunel library and offer new books from people of colour, female, LGBT+ and disabled authors. The campaign hopes to enhance the student experience when accessing the library, whilst also liberating student’s education away from standard white male and Eurocentric reading lists. They mentioned last year’s campaign, and how this academic year resulted in the purchase of 25 diverse new additions to the library catalogue.
Daljit Nagra, Lecturer for Creative Writing and host for the book launch event introduced the poetry slam. This consisted of 20 students performing original pieces of poetry many of whom have never performed before in front of an audience Each and every one of the students have performed their poetry with style, sophistication and flair displaying such natural and likeable character. It was very inspiring to see potential award winning poets of the future on your doorstep.
Coming up next was the main feature of the event, a poetry reading from special guest John Agard an award-winning poet, playwright and children’s writer. The poetry reading included John Agards most famous poems including ‘Half-Caste’ and ‘Flag’, he brought together the whole audience with his enthusiasm and charismatic persona encouraging the audience to sing along. Also emphasising how the alphabet should be our friend rather than the enemy in creating unity.
The event concluded with the mentioning of the Creative Project competition, which is open to all students on the topic ‘What diversity in the curriculum/literature means to them?’ Student’s submissions can be anything creative from an essay to a video or even a piece of art. To find out more about the competition and to see the 2018 winner, click here.