Akila Richards is a published writer, poet and spoken word artist of Liberian and German heritage. Some of her material gives voice to the Black German experience. She performs and reads in a variety of educational, artistic, professional and community settings. This included an experimental digital project by Digital Papaya http://digitalpapaya.co.uk in which she appeared as a holographic poet – 8 inches tall, any taller and she got blurry. That was fun!

Akila became involved in theatre and playwriting greatly inspired by the consciousness raising artistic expression in the 80s. This led to a joint production by Sound Spectrum using repeatedly the frustrating question Where Are you REALLY from? Akila reignited her passion for theatre becoming an associate artist and performer in Snakes and Ladders by Plenty Productions in 2011 and a production in process performance of  From Rwanda … With Love by www.ryico.org

Akila’s short story Eleven Years was published in an anthology by Penguin in 2008 and so was her poem Red Saviour in the RED anthology by Peepal Tree Press in 2010, followed by a national tour.

Akila initiated a writers group out of desire to mutually support and critically assess new writing. This led to a co-edited anthology with text and images with Write-Meet-Read Ink On My Lips, published by Waterloo Press in 2013. The book was proudly launched with readings and performances at Brighton Pavilion Theatre.

Being an INSCRIBE member for a professional development programme for writers, Akila is writing her first short stories collection in 2014. This is further supported with investment by Arts Council England.

Writing and working in the creative sector has lead to international opportunities. The first as part of the Cultural Leadership Programme Hot House in 2009 for research in Liberia, leading to new partnership working and writing including the published poem Red Saviour. Akila is took part in the first Fringe Saint Lucia and Brighton Festival 2014 in both locations as part of an international cohort and exchange of writers.

Akila is a qualified creative coach for writers and artist and generally people who want to tap into their creative potential for business, work, visions and ambtions. Her coaching work builds on past work in Arts Council England and current freelance work supporting emerging writers and artists, diverser practitioners from a range of background in collaborations with groups, schools, communities and artistic events.

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