The Remembering Oluwale Anthology, published by Scarborough-based Valley Press in 2016, has won the Best Anthology category in the prestigious, national Saboteur Awards 2017, against a very strong field.
Remembering Oluwale Editor, SJ Bradley and Max Farrar, Secretary to the David Oluwale Memorial Association charity, attended the glittering event in London at the weekend.
“It is so wonderful to have Remembering Oluwale recognised by the Saboteur Awards,” said SJ Bradley. “This is a book which faces up to a shameful episode in Leeds’ history, and persuades the city to do better.
“David Oluwale was a man who could so easily have been forgotten – at the time of his death, the only official records left about him were the arrest records left by the police who victimized him, and papers from a psychiatric institution. It’s testament to the resonances of his story that so much wonderful and powerful writing has come about and continues to do so. I am so proud to have been a part of it.”
“We won this award because the book is full of excellent writing and because we have a fantastic set of partners,” said Max Farrar. “The Remember Oluwale charity is tiny and it succeeds because of the collaborations it has with lots of other dedicated campaigning and arts organisations in Leeds. SJ Bradley is a supreme editor. Fiona Gell and her team make the Leeds Big Bookend a very special kind of festival, and our publishers, Valley Press, were absolutely excellent. We thank all of our supporters for voting. This was teamwork at its best. Boosting writers, well-known and soon-to-be known, in a cause of enormous contemporary significance.”
The Anthology was the result of the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize 2016 which was launched in partnership with three Leeds-based organizations: the Leeds Big Bookend Festival, the David Oluwale Memorial Association and Fictions of Every Kind.
Writers were invited to submit new short stories and poems which creatively responded to David Oluwale’s life and death for an anthology that reflected on the issues raised by David’s story.
David Oluwale arrived in Hull in 1949, from Nigeria, and was found drowned in the River Aire in Leeds in 1969. Two Leeds police officers were accused of his manslaughter and put on trial. During his time in Leeds, David faced a range of issues: mental ill-health, homelessness, destitution, racism, police brutality, and incarceration in prisons and hospitals.