‘A powerful emerging voice on London’s poetry circuit, Siana Bangura is also reaching into publishing more widely, finding ways around the world’s gatekeepers and ‘no’s. Having recently set up her own publishing house, The Haus of Liberated Reading, through which she published her first poetry collection, Elephant, Bangura is making a path for writers who don’t want to compromise their creativity, championing a DIY path to getting work out there for people to read. “Once I realised that (mainstream publishers’) co-sign did not matter and what I had to say – raw and unfiltered – did, it was an easy decision. I did actually have a couple of offers but there were too many rules and conditions and compromises. Once I settled on DIY that was that.” Bangura’sElephant is semi-autobiographical, covering the politics swirling around black womanhood, from childhood experiences of colourism to adult encounters with direct racial hatred, and the memory of immigration to London from Sierra Leone. Bangura explains the concsious link between forging a DIY route, and the expereince of minorities navigating the traditionally white space of literary publishing, “If you’re a young black female creative you’re battling lots of obstacles to get the shine your work deserves. Many of us have understood this and so have created our own pathways – then people start paying attention to you.”’
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