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Pete Kalu: story weaver, storyteller, novelist, poet, mentor, workshop facilitator…director, event manager… curious, eclectic, committed to spreading wonder,  curiosity…. hugging doubt…equality….compassion…collaboration… working to develop artists and staff… the importance of kindness to bring out the best….giving feedback that encourages ……..strengths…… Manchester museum video poet… Whitworth Art gallery researcher-poet… eight Manchester Museums bicentenary lof the abolition of the trade in slaves researcher/lead artist… joyously working with other artists …open to influence from all other art forms and artists…

Awards, Publications, Panels, Papers:

 PhD Creative Writing (Lancaster University) 2019

Writer in residence University of West Indies (Trinidad campus) 2019

Colonial Countryside Commission 2018

Elected Fellow, Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA) 2013


Short stories:

‘Richard Watt the First, Merchantt’, forthcoming Peepal Tree 2021

‘The Keeper of Books’ in Seaside Special, ed. Jenn Ashworth, bluemoose 2017

‘Sana the Referee’ in A Country to call home, ed. Lucy Popescu unbound 2017

‘Getting Home’ in Closure anthology ed Jacob Ross, Peepal Tree 2015

‘The Making of a Revolutionary’ in Moss Side Stories, Crocus 2012


Creative non-fiction:

‘Sewers’ ‘bus stops’ ‘launderettes’ ‘car washes’ in Manchester: Something rich and strange, ed.s Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler; Manchester University Press 2021 

Series of four podcasts including ‘Five Blows to the Head’, Royal Literary Fund  2021



Bluebird, Colonial Countryside project-related poem-song 2019   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zy2EVuETRc

How You Wear Your Hat, poem published in The Hat You Wear, Comma Press 2012
Old Radicals poem, published in Out of Bounds (anthology) Bloodaxe, 2012
Manchester, Poem, published as wall poster, by Urbis Museum, Manchester 2010
No Trace monologues for Lychee Lounge, Green Room Manchester October 2003
Rekindled monologues for Manchester Museum June 2003


Research Experience:

Commissioned writer: Colonial Countryside research project University of Leicester 2018. Short story publication ‘Richard Watt the First, Merchantt’, forthcoming Peepal Tree 2019. Related music video output here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zy2EVuETRc

Commissioned writer: Affective Digital Histories, University of Leicester 2015

Researcher & Convenor: Black Writers’ Conference, Manchester, UK 2013, 2012, 2007, 2004

Advisory Group: AHRC funded, Moving Manchester/Mediating Marginalities project (How the experience of migration has informed the work of writers from 1960 to the present) 2006-2010  http://www.transculturalwriting.com/movingmanchester/team.htm

Panellist: Writing British Asian Cities, Leeds University 2006


Presentations, panels, papers and articles:

‘”Strangers at the gate”: The short story and borders.’ Forthcoming chapter in  Borders and Border Crossings in the Contemporary British Short Story, Palgrave McMillan 2019

‘Black characters in British crime fiction’, paper presented at Pescara Crime Conference, 2019

‘Mind The Gap: Celebrating Authentic Inclusion’, panel at London Book Fair 2018

‘Decolonising Children’s Literature’, panel at Manchester University 2018

‘Accuracy, History and Literary Devices in the creation of Slave Narratives: A comparative study’, panel at Goldsmiths College, London, 2018

Speaking Volumes Black British Writers panel in Lisbon, Portugal and Seville, Spain 2017

Article on Seville’s connections with slave trade published (in Spanish) Afribuku 2017


Judge: Saif Ghobash / Banipal Arabic creative writing in translation prize 2018


Innominate science fiction Festival Panelist, Eastercon Birmingham 2017

‘The Audacity of Humanity’, Writing for Liberty, paper presented at Cape Town University 2017

‘Diversity in Publishing’, panel at London Book Fair 2016

Visiting Speaker, American University of Beirut (Editing and storytelling) 2012

Visiting Speaker, Hong Kong University ‘Black British Literature: A Literary Ghetto?’: Roundtable discussion with Dr Virinder Kalra & Dr Rajeev Balasubramayan 2011

Black British Perspectives RoundTable, Leeds University, 2011

Convenor for UK Black writers’ research visit to Calabash International Literature Festival, Jamaica 2006


Visual Arts & Film Reviews

Ekua Banuyu



Christopher Ankeli



Benji Reid






Akinyemi Oludele



Storytelling tour, Beirut, Lebanon (British Council) 2012
Storytelling Event, Hong Kong (British Council) 2011
Storytelling tour, Pakistan, 2007
Commissioned by BBC to provide advice on storytelling 2007:
Over 200 storytelling bookings in UK from 2005 to date


Winner, BBC-Contact Theatre Dangerous Comedy Competition 2003

Winner, Bradford International Short Play 2002
Liverpool Black Film Festival for No Trace – ‘Best Pitch’ Award 2002
BBC Young Playwrights Festival Award Winner 1991



Zombie XI (YA) HopeRoad 2016

Being Me (YA) HopeRoad 2015

The Silent Striker (YA) HopeRoad 2015
Little Jack Horner (thriller) Suitcase  2007

Yard Dogs ( thriller) The X Press , October 2001
Diary of a househusband (comedy) The X Press 1998
Black Star Rising   (sci-fi) The X Press   June 1998
Professor X ( thriller) The X Press , October 1995.

Lick Shot (thriller) X Press 1993

Press Coverage & Reviews:

Jam Session Magazine: Reflections on Seville and black history, 2018:



Creative Futures: narrative influences on futures thinking, 2017:



Megaphone article on Voice and Publishing, 2016:



MediaDiversified article on black writers conferences, 2015: https://mediadiversified.org/2015/06/21/peter-kalu/


The Guardian: on writing multicultural characters, 2015:



Black British Perspectives RoundTable, Leeds University, 2011: http://vimeo.com/45721486



Coverage of The Silent Striker novel: http://www.duniamagazine.com/2015/08/pete-kalu-tells-the-story-of-a-football-genius-in-new-book-silent-striker/

BBC: Delivering advice for storytellers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newtalent/writing/advice_kalu.shtml
Yush Black Lifestyle Magazine: General interview: http://yush.com/peter-kalu-yours-eclectically.htm

Storytelling Review by blogger: Manchester Literature Festival: (‘Peter Kalu – a genius of storytelling and verse’!)http://freshscribble.blogspot.co.uk/

Storytelling Review: Lancashire County Council 2004http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/news/press_releases/2004/10/12/0001.asp

Storytelling Review: Time To Read 2004http://www.time-to-read.co.uk/Feature/2004/december.asp



Bio (150 words)

Peter Kalu writes poetry, songs, film scripts, fiction and plays. He cut his teeth as a member of the Moss Side Write black writers workshop and has had eight novels, two film scripts and three theatre plays produced to date.  He has a PhD in Creative Writing, a first degree in Law, and further qualifications in coding and marketing. For four years he ran a  Carnival Band called Moko Jumbi (Ghosts of the Gods) which took to the streets at Manchester Carnival  on three feet high stilts. He continues to practice tightrope walking and hat juggling.