5x15 & WritersMosaic
Ingrid Persaud is a late bloomer to the world of literature. She began her adult life as a lawyer, having studied law at the London School of Economics. She’d always yearned for an artistic life, an ambition which later took her to study fine art at Goldsmiths College and Central St.Martin’s. Her the transformation into a writer followed careers as an academic teaching law at Kings College, London, and later working as a visual artist. Love After Love, her debut novel won both the 2020 Costa First Novel award, the Author’s Club First Book Award 2021 and the Indie Book Award for Fiction 2021. Other prizes include the BBC National Short Story Award, 2018 and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017, with The Sweet Sop, a story exploring harrowing themes of fractured families, death and terminal illness, through the medium of chocolate. Persaud’s work is mostly set in Trinidad and Tobago, where she was born and grew up before relocating to the UK.
Jeffrey Boakye is an author, broadcaster, educator and journalist originally from Brixton, London. He has a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race and popular culture. Jeffrey taught English in London secondary schools and 6th Form colleges for 15 years since 2007, previously working in journalism and copywriting, after graduating with a degree in English Literature. His first book, Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials and the Meaning of Grime, is recognised as one of the first seminal books about grime music, published by Influx Press in 2017. Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored is his second major book, published under Dialogue Books in 2018. Boakye’s illustrated compendium Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs was published in June 2021. He is also the co-author of What is Masculinity? Why Does it Matter? And Other Big Questions. Jeffrey’s has four books upcoming, including: I Heard What You Said (June 2022), Musical World (2023), and Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer(2023). Jeffrey has also contributed articles and comment pieces to publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Royal Society of Arts Journal. He is also co-host of BBC Radio 4's Add to Playlist with Cerys Matthews. He continues to be an educator, providing training and talks to schools and organisations around the topics of race, masculinity and education.
Gabriel Gbadamosi is an Irish and Nigerian poet, playwright and critic, and the founding editor of WritersMosaic. His London novel Vauxhall (Telegram, 2013) won the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize and Best International Novel at the Sharjah Book Fair. He was the AHRC Creative and Performing Arts Fellow at the Pinter Centre, Goldsmiths in British, European and African performance; a Judith E. Wilson Fellow for creative writing at Cambridge University; and Writer in Residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre. His plays include Stop and Search (Arcola Theatre), Eshu’s Faust (Jesus College, Cambridge), Hotel Orpheu (Schaubühne, Berlin), Shango (DNA, Amsterdam) and for radio The Long, Hot Summer of ’76 (BBC Radio 3) which won the first Richard Imison Award. He presented BBC Radio 3’s flagship arts and ideas programme Night Waves.
Paul Mendez is a London-based novelist, essayist and screenwriter. Born in 1982 and raised in the Black Country, the eldest of four children by Jehovah’s Witness parents of second-generation Jamaican heritage, Mendez disassociated himself from the Witnesses while still a teenager, before moving to Kent to study automotive engineering, then London to study acting, leaving both courses before the end of the first year. After reading James Baldwin’s 1968 novel Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone in the summer of 2002, Mendez began keeping a journal, maintaining it while occupied variously as a sex worker, waiter and sometime journalist. Mendez has contributed to Glass, Esquire, The Face, British Vogue, the Times Literary Supplement and the Brixton Review of Books, and his work has been included in anthologies by Goldsboro Books and Daunt Books. In 2020, Dialogue Books published Mendez’s debut novel Rainbow Milk – examining queer, Black British lives from the Windrush generation to the aftermath of the Brexit vote – to critical acclaim, featuring in the Observer’s prestigious Top Ten Debut Novels list for 2020, before being shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize. He is currently reading the MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Angela Saini is an independent British science journalist and the author of three books. She presents radio and television programmes on the BBC and her writing has appeared in The Sunday Times, Nature, New Scientist, National Geographic and Wired. She has won a number of national and international journalism awards. She has also been a judge for the Orwell Prize for non-fiction. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, was published in 2019 to widespread critical acclaim and named a book of the year by the Financial Times, Guardian, The Telegraph and Sunday Times. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into thirteen languages. Both are on university reading lists across the world. Saini has a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford and was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2020 she was named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers by Prospect magazine. She is currently working on her fourth book, on the origins of patriarchy, to be published in 2023. As the founder of the ‘Challenging Pseudoscience’ group at the Royal Institution, Angela Saini researches and campaigns around issues of misinformation and disinformation.