Amina Jama, Niall O'Sullivan & Maia Elsner
Books and Debate

A Trick of the Eye: flipped eye at 20

10 Mar 2021
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A Trick of the Eye: flipped eye at 20
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Amina Jama, Niall O'Sullivan, Maia Elsner & Roger Robinson celebrate flipped eye publishing's legacy

From its inception, flipped eye publishing has sought to disrupt the status quo, to take the world as it was and flip it, eschewing the familiar to explore diverse possibilities.

Twenty years of a questing approach to publishing and a fierce dedication to writer development has produced landmark books such as Warsan Shire's much-quoted Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and widely-recognised names, such as Malika Booker, Nick Makoha, Jacqueline Saphra, Inua Ellams and T.S. Eliot Prize winner Roger Robinson who appears at this celebration event alongside fellow poetry veteran Niall O'Sullivan and two poets of an emerging generation of the flipped eye crew, Amina Jama and Maia Elsner. Together, they represent tangible proof that flipped eye's success is not a trick of the eye, but testament to a commitment to true diversity.

Four of flipped eye's landmark poets demonstrate the publisher's legacy supporting great talent.

Amina Jama

Amina is a writer, curator, producer, facilitator, and all-round empath. She produced and curated Somalinimo (till I dhimo) X Dear Ayeeyo which simulated an intimate 1990s migrant Somali living room space and photographic exhibition paying homage to rich Somali culture, Black Britishness, migration, and creativity that arises from displacement. The immersive installation and exhibition toured at the Roundhouse, Free Word Centre, and Black Cultural Archives. In 2019, she published her debut poetry pamphlet, A Warning to the House That Holds Me, with flipped eye publishing. Amina was the recipient of a 2020 Eric Gregory Award.

Niall O'Sullivan

Host of Poetry Unplugged, London's longest running poetry open mic, at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. Niall has published three books of poetry and his new and selected poems, Werewolf of London, will be published by flipped eye publishing in 2021. He also hosts the Rusty Sonnets podcast and teaches poetry at London Metropolitan University

Maia Elsner

Born in London to Mexican and Polish Jewish parents, Maia grew up in a multi-lingual, multi-faith household. Her debut collection, Overrun by Wild Boars, will be published by flipped eye publishing in Summer 2021. Her recent poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland among others. Her work has been widely anthologized, including in Un Nuevo Sol: British LatinX Writers (flipped eye, 2019), Field Notes on Survival (Bad Betty Press, 2020), Live Canon 2020 Anthology (Live Canon, 2020), Crossing Lines: An Anthology of Immigrant Poetry (Broken Sleep Books, 2020). She is currently working on a collaborative poetry film project, and on translating Latin American writers into English.

Photo by Naomi Woddis

Roger Robinson

A writer and educator who has taught and performed worldwide and is an experienced workshop leader and lecturer on poetry. Co-founder of both Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Kitchen, he was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the Black-British writing canon. Roger’s latest collection A Portable Paradise was a New Statesman Book of the Year in 2020 and won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2019, the RSL Ondaatje Prize in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for King Midas Sound and has also recorded solo albums with Jahtari Records.

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