This month we focused on David Dabydeen’s essay, ‘On Not Being Milton, Nigger talk,’ with its specific take on language and the use of colloquial patois in literature by writers of colour. It was a great essay to read after last month’s visit from Ellah and actually seemed to follow on quite neatly from the idea of claiming our space as writers who might not always write in a ‘strictly English’ style, or have subject matters that fit in with what’s considered palatable, or marketable within the literary world as it stands.
Afterwards we workshopped Luan and Nina’s writing, both of whom seem to have found new confidence and voices. They submitted novel extracts that read extremely well and were vivid and immersive, rich in character and plot. Feedback was extensive and well thought out, and particularly good in areas that might need improving.
As always, I’m very impressed with what the group has achieved in such little time, and their determination to get on with the work.