"Rarely has anybody come into contact with him without being affected by his generous, searching, modern renaissance spirit' - Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
'The most remarkable human being I have ever known' - Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Celebrating John La Rose & 40 Years of New Beacon Books
A year after his death, a day of readings celebrating the life and legacy of John La Rose - writer, publisher, cultural activist and founder of New Beacon Books - a central figure in Black British history, culture and politics.
It's on in the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, on Saturday February 3 - details below.
2.30pm - Poetry Reading by Kamau Brathwaite ['In 1966 John La Rose, Kamau Brathwaite and Andrew Salkey co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement in London. This groundbreaking association of writers and artists was publicly launched in March 1967 at a poetry reading by Kamau Brathwaite of Rights of Passage, which is now seen as a seminal poetic statement on the past and present of the Caribbean – its history, its values, its people. 40 years on, Brathwaite re-reads the long poem that awakened London to the beauty of the Caribbean word.']
5.30pm - Dream to Change the World. Director Horace Ové introduces his film on John La Rose’s life and influences, and his ideas on culture and politics.
7.45pm - An Evening of Celebration with Caryl Phillips, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o et al. [Join a global cast of writers to celebrate John La Rose and New Beacon Books. This unique event mixes readings, music and personal stories, including poetry readings from Linton Kwesi Johnson and Dona Croll, music from Keith Waithe and the Buru Drummers, and key contributions from Caryl Phillips, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and a host of others.]
[New Beacon Books was founded as a publishing house in 1966 by John La Rose with support from Sarah White. From 1967, New Beacon also went into bookselling, supplying all kinds of books about the Caribbean, Africa, Africa America, Black Britain and more. The publications and bookshop on Stroud Green Road have been an inspiration to countless people. Join just a few of them – writers, artists, musicians, comrades – to pay tribute to the man and the publisher that brought colour into the literary life of Britain.]