Louisa can deliver poetry and fiction readings. She has performed her work widely in the South West and beyond, including at numerous libraries, prisons, colleges, schools and community centres; the Poetry Café; as part of The Enemies Project South West Tour with Josephine Corcoran; Goldsmiths University; the Dylan Thomas Centre; Ilkley Literature Festival; and Bournemouth Literary Festival. She has frequently performed at the Exeter Respect festival, where she supported Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Click here to see Louisa's reading for the Out of Bounds project.
Louisa can deliver creative writing and BAME history workshops to participants of different ages and abilities. She can work with the organisation to tailor workshops according to need. She enjoys exploring themes that many people find easy to engage with, such as identity, memory, place and home, and encourages participants to write about their own experiences. Louisa is friendly and open, and aims to create an informal atmosphere in her workshops. She is passionate about making literature accessible to all, and exploring important topics through the written word.
‘Louisa was a very supportive tutor; her love and enthusiasm for literature shone through. She valued everyone's contributions, despite our varying levels of experience, and gave us some excellent frameworks/models to help us write. Her feedback was encouraging, signposting ways for me to improve my pieces, without harsh criticism. I liked the fact that our writing was for a purpose and some of our pieces could be included in her anthology. This deadline helped me to be more disciplined in completing my work. Louisa allowed us to develop our own style of writing without imposing hers upon us.’
Louisa has delivered writing workshops at venues including HMP YOI Portland; Dorchester prison; Exeter College; Exeter University; Bournemouth University; North Devon College and numerous schools across the South West. She worked on the Arvon Foundation's Teachers as Writers project in 2016, and co-taught a course for them in January 2017.
‘We really enjoyed having Louisa as our Writer in Residence. She was a real enabler, and packed a lot into her workshops. The final anthology, which included work by participants and Louisa herself, is a fantastic record of the residency and testimony to her excellent teaching.’
Janet Westcott, Poole Libraries.
‘Our school worked with Louisa as part of the Teachers As Writers project. To say that her input improved the writing of our children would be a vast understatement. Her professionalism, vision and inspirational attitude gave our children the self-belief that they could be writers. The improvement in the quality of their writing was amazing! With Louisa's support, we produced a poetry anthology which was a huge success. We cannot thank her enough for believing in the children, her advice and her immensely enjoyable in-school sessions.
Jennie White, Bishop Henderson Primary School.
‘I've seen a difference in these young men but also within the prison as a whole - we've seen prisoners take much more responsibility for their lives. This prison is changing quite dramatically for the better, in terms of less violence, and the poetry is one reason behind that.’
Steve Holland, HMP YOI Portland.
‘Louisa’s workshop was one of the best I’ve done as she explored subjects I had never thought of before. She made me think about why I write. Louisa was friendly, open and inspiring.’
Louisa can deliver talks on topics including local and national BAME history; racism (the history and her personal experience of); domestic violence and its impact; and living with mental health conditions. She has delivered talks at venues including West Dorset District Council, libraries and Heritage centres.
Prior public speaking engagements
A literary lecture on Dorset's Black History at Dorset County Museum 2007
Dorset's Hidden History talk at Dorset History Centre 2009
Black history at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival (panelist)
REFUGEES IMMIGRATION RACISM: talk on Dorset's black history 2015
Co-presentor of African American GIs in Devon and Dorset at What's Happening in Black British History? IV
What does it mean to be a person of colour in rural Britain? Talk given to the Bridport Labour Party 2017
Black British histories from the South West - talk given at HMP Channings Wood and HMP Exeter 2017
Black British histories from the South West - talk given at Black Ballad event 2017
History in schools: Time for a change? Cheltenham Literature Festival 2017 (panelist)
Did Black People Exist Before Slavery? Bristol SU (panelist)