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DEREK OWUSU

AgentJuliet Pickering
Juliet Pickering is currently on maternity leave. In her absence, please direct all queries to Samuel Hodder.

Biography: Derek is a writer, podcaster, and mentor from Tottenham. He realised his passion for literature aged 23 while studying Exercise Science at University.  Before then, he had never read a book cover-to-cover, his introduction to literature coming via a short story by D.H. Lawrence called 'St Mawr'. Discovering literature was a revelation that came too late for his university path, so instead of switching course, he snuck into English literature lectures at The University of Manchester.

While writing for an online publication, he came across Alex Reads, a host of literature podcast Mostly Lit, who asked him to be a guest on the show. After featuring on two episodes it was clear that the dynamic between Derek, Alex and second co-host, Rai, was something special and he became a permanent fixture. After just one year, Mostly Lit has gone from strength to strength, being named one of iTunes best podcasts of 2016 and BBC Culture's Top 25 Podcasts That Will Blow Your Mind.

Derek’s first book, SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, an anthology of essays for and by black British men which he hopes will inspire, educate and add to the dialogue of diversity already taking place, is published by Orion in March 2019. 

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What does it mean to be a Black man in Britain today?  Where do Black men belong in the media, in the conversation around mental health, in the LGBT community, in their own families?  In this timely and illuminating collection, edited by Derek Owusu, writer, mentor and host of the award-winning Mostly Lit podcast, the UK’s top poets, musicians, writers and journalists explore the experiences that have shaped them, and reflect on what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society.  From the long-term ramifications of colonialism to the pervasiveness of racial stereotyping; from grime music to street style, religion to sexuality,  Safe  is a rich and varied journey to confront the position of Black men in Britain today, and shines a light on the way forward, adding a fresh perspective to the dialogue surrounding race, diversity and identity.

What does it mean to be a Black man in Britain today?

Where do Black men belong in the media, in the conversation around mental health, in the LGBT community, in their own families?

In this timely and illuminating collection, edited by Derek Owusu, writer, mentor and host of the award-winning Mostly Lit podcast, the UK’s top poets, musicians, writers and journalists explore the experiences that have shaped them, and reflect on what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society.

From the long-term ramifications of colonialism to the pervasiveness of racial stereotyping; from grime music to street style, religion to sexuality, Safe is a rich and varied journey to confront the position of Black men in Britain today, and shines a light on the way forward, adding a fresh perspective to the dialogue surrounding race, diversity and identity.