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About Us

WHO WE ARE

The Amplify Project is led by Patricia Cumper and Pauline Walker. We’re both writers and we share a fascination with the people, the process, and the art and craft of writing so we’ve invited Black writers for the stage, page and screen to tell us about themselves, their work, what inspires them and why they write.

The discussions that led to setting up The Amplify Project began before the pandemic, before the summer of George Floyd, before the world assumed its current shape.  We both saw similar patterns in the publishing and theatre industries: Publishers saying they couldn’t find Black British writers, who felt that there wasn’t a sufficient market for  the work they were receiving.

We wanted a practical response to these concerns, one that we could shape ourselves and reflected our interests, as writers ourselves, in the lives, work and practice of Black British writers, not just when their latest book, play or programme came out but as thinkers and artists in their own right.  So we set up the podcast and accompanying website. 

If you like what you hear, please spread the word and recommend The Amplify Project podcast to your friends and colleagues. All the episodes can be found on your favourite podcast platforms; listen, like, comment and subscribe.

Portrait of Patricia Cumper

Patricia Cumper

Patricia Cumper has written for stage and radio since her twenties. Her plays have been produced throughout the Caribbean and in Canada and the US. Here in the UK, she has won awards for her work in audio drama, most recently the BBC Outstanding Contribution to Audio Drama award in 2020 for her adaptation of the autobiographies of Maya Angelou. She was Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre company, then the UK’s leading black led theatre company, for six years and was awarded an MBE for services to Black British theatre. Visit Pat’s website here.

Portrait of Pauline Waler

Pauline Walker

From a very young age Pauline loved reading and getting lost in her imagination. She wrote her first story in primary school and had her fifteen minutes of fame when it was pinned on a notice board for the whole school to read. Fast forward a few decades and in 2017 Pauline won the platinum prize from Creative Future Literary Awards with her short story ‘The Wait’ which was published in the winner’s anthology Important Nothings alongside the work of Kit de Waal and Dean Atta, and later online by Wasafiri. Pauline is currently working on her novel Welcome Home.  See more on Linktree.

Joining Patricia and Pauline for Series 1 are:

Marketing Consultant, Jackie Friend

Marketing Manager, Shamima Noor
Shamima holds an undergraduate degree in English and an MA degree in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies from University of Leeds. She previously worked at Leeds Playhouse (formerly West Yorkshire Playhouse) from July 2017 to March 2019, and at Yorkshire Dance as the Marketing and Communications Officer from April 2019-April 2020. She is now the Marketing and Communications Manager at Phoenix Dance Theatre. She is also a board member for Cheshire Dance, a dance development agency based in Cheshire, and Utopia Theatre, a touring theatre company based in Sheffield. She has worked with and have provided bespoke freelance marketing support for Rifco Theatre Company, Transform Festival, Bradford Producing Hub and Red Ladder Theatre Company.

Publicist, Tolu Rachael Akisanya
Tolu has a BA in Public Relations and is an experienced publicist with over ten years’ experience in the industry. With a multifaceted career history, she has worked with some of the UK’s top organisations, spearheading and contributing to several successful campaigns across entertainment, creative arts, sport, consumer, and finance. tolu@trakisanya.com

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Sign up to the Amplify Project mailing list for regular updates on the podcast and to find out more about notable developments in the sphere of Black writing.