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    Essex Writers House: Blood and Belonging

    June 15 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    A collage of black and white portraits showing the head shots of four writers, each looking directly at the camera.

    Essex Writers House

    Saturday 15 June
    3pm – 5pm
    £6 per person
    Book your ticket here

    Blood and Belonging 

    Raine Geoghegan, Richard O’Neill and Damian Le Bas: three different writers from a variety of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) backgrounds come together for a reading and discussion hosted by Louise Doughty. Blood and Belonging is the title of Louise’s guest edition of writing magazine Writers Mosaic. 

    Raine, Richard and Damian will speak about the importance of their GRT ancestry to explore questions such as “How does a blood lineage give you a sense of belonging?” “Is there such thing as a GRT community when so much of it is so diverse?”
    Join this discussion and celebration of what we have in common.

    About Richard
    Richard O’Neill is a storyteller, author, playwright, animation scriptwriter and workshop leader based in the North of England. He conducts nomadic storytelling training sessions across Europe and co-founded Diverse Book Week to champion inclusivity and amplify diverse voices.
    His upbringing in a traditional nomadic Romani family deeply influences his work, inspiring him to leverage the power of storytelling in various formats to promote inclusion and acceptance.
    Awards include the ‘National Literacy Hero’ award for his impact on promoting literacy and diversity in literature, the Beacon Leadership Award for community development and inclusion, and a Royal Society of Literature Award.

    About Raine
    Raine Geoghegan (she/her) is a prize winning multi-disciplinary artist with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. Born in the Welsh Valleys, she is of Romany, Welsh and Irish ethnicity. Her poems and prose have been published with Under the Radar, Romany Routes Journal, Poetry Ireland Review, The Clearing, Travellers’ Times and were featured in the documentary film, Stories from the Hop Yards.
    Raine’s first pamphlet Apple Water: Povel Panni (2018) was chosen as a 2019 Spring Selection by the Poetry Book Society. Her second and third pamphlets are also published with Hedgehog Press. Her first full collection The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh (2022) was published by Salmon Poetry Press. She currently gives readings in the UK and Ireland and Australia.

    About Damian
    Damian Le Bas is a writer from the south coast of England. His first book The Stopping Places: a Journey through Gypsy Britain (2018) won the Somerset Maugham award, a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood award, and was shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. He is currently writing a book about the sea, diving and Atlantis, due to be published by Chatto & Windus in 2025.

    About Louise
    Louise Doughty is the author of ten novels, including Fires in the Dark, about the Romany Holocaust, and Stone Cradle, based on her own English Romanichal background. Of her other books, Apple Tree Yard was a number one bestseller and adapted as a major BBC One series starring Emily Watson; Platform Seven has been filmed for ITV. She also created and wrote the hit series Crossfire, starring Keeley Hawes. She has been nominated for multiple awards including the Costa Novel Award, the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Sunday Times Short Story Prize. Her work has been translated into thirty languages.

    About this event
    Part of Essex Writers House, delivered by Metal in partnership with Essex Book Festival 


    June 15
    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Event Category:




    Metal Southend
    Chalkwell Hall, Chalkwell Avenue
    Southend on Sea, Essex SS08NB United Kingdom
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