“I’m from a long line of trouble makers, of ash skinned Africans, born with clenched fists and a natural thirst for battle, only quenched by breast milk. They’d suckle as if the white silk sliding between gums were liquid peace treaties written from mums. Their small thumbs would dimple the soft mounds of brown flesh, goose-pimple chests till the ceasefire of sleep would creep into eyes, they’d keep till the moon sets…”
The 14th Tale is a free-flowing, mellifluous narrative that tells of the exploits of a natural born mischief-maker who grows from the clay streets of Nigeria to the roof-tops of Dublin and London. Inua Ellams vividly recreates the characters that punctuate his upbringing in deft and beautiful poetry, while challenging the audience’s expectations of what it is to be young, black and male in London today.
Inua is a poet and graphic artist from London. Born in Nigeria in 1984, he quickly fell in love with visual art and worked solely in this field until he started writing in 2002. Constantly striving to merge the two disciplines, his work in both fields is known for iconic imagery, unashamed beauty and attention to detail.
Produced by Fuel. A BAC Scratch commission.
Produced by London Word Festival with support from Arts Council England.
By INUA ELLAMS
Presented by London Word Festival in association with Fuel