Sometimes it is the things under our very noses we fail to recognise as the treasures they are. The spring/summer edition of Sable, the litmag for new writing is one such gem.
Published by literary activist, Kadija Sesay, this season’s edition took a new direction from its usual format and included pieces written by several writers on a single theme to fit its regular genres of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and cultural expression.
With the tone set by a thought provoking editorial, this year’s first issue includes the works of Sharmilla Beezmohum, Michael MacMillan, Simon Murray, Darrell Newton and Toyin Agbetu.
It is tempting to give in depth reviews of the articles, there is a strong spotlight on Caryl Phillips that delves into the creative process with contributions by Susan Yearwood and Kadija Sesay, Dorothea Smartt’s haunting but poignant collection of verses reimagining the experience of “Samboo’s Grave / Bilal’s Grave” is haunting whilst Michael MacMillan’s forensic examination of the “West Indian” front room has a warm air of nostalgia tinged with aesthetic nausea.
Dr Darrell Newton’s exploration of the BBC and its failure to grasp the concept of diversity past its buzzword status is not only well researched, but should be required reading for all media students looking to work in the media industry.
Yes, it is tempting to breakdown the entire issue, but to do so would do it a disservice. In short, issue 12 of sable represents a milestone in the recording of the African British experience and opinion on identity from a literary perspective. Own it.