Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo
29 May 1959
Eltham, London, England
|Education||Eltham Hill Grammar School for Girls|
|Alma mater||Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama; Goldsmiths College, University of London|
|Occupation||Novelist, critic, poet, playwright, academic|
The Emperor's Babe (2001)
Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
|Awards||Booker Prize, 2019|
Indie Book Award for Fiction 2020
British Book Awards: Fiction and Author of the Year 2020
Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other, won the Booker Prize in 2019, making her the first black woman and the first black British person to win it. In 2020 she won the British Book Awards: Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year, as well as the Indie Book Award for Fiction as well as many other awards. The novel was one of Barack Obama's 19 Favourite Books of 2019 and Roxane Gay's Favourite Book of 2019. In June 2020 she became the first woman of colour and the first black British writer to get to number 1 in the UK paperback fiction charts, where she held the top spot for five weeks. There are over 50 foreign language translations of Evaristo's books ongoing. Evaristo's writing also includes short fiction, drama, poetry, essays, literary criticism, and projects for stage and radio. Two of her books, The Emperor's Babe (2001) and Hello Mum (2010), have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. Her ninth book, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up is published by Penguin UK October 2021 and Grove Atlantic USA (2022).(born 28 May 1959), is a British author and academic. Her eighth book, the novel,
Evaristo is a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour, setting up many successful projects. She founded the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012–present) and initiated The Complete Works poetry mentoring scheme (2007–2017). She co-founded Spread the Word writer development agency (1995–present) and Britain's first black women's theatre company (1982–1988), Theatre of Black Women. She organised Britain's first major black theatre conference, Future Histories, for the Black Theatre Forum, (1995) at the Royal Festival Hall, and Britain's first major conference on black British writing, Tracing Paper (1997) at the Museum of London. In October 2020 it was announced that she is curating a new book series with Hamish Hamilton at Penguin Random House publishers, "Black Britain: Writing Back", which involves bringing back into print and circulation books from the past. The first six books, novels, were published in February 2021, including Minty Alley (1936) by C. L. R. James and The Dancing Face (1997) by Mike Phillips. As a Sky Arts Ambassador she is spearheading the Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards, providing mentoring for under-represented writers.
Evaristo is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, one of fewer than 30 black female professors in the UK out of around 20,000 professors overall. She was Vice-Chair of the Royal Society of Literature until 2020, when she became a lifetime Vice President. She is a lifetime Honorary Fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford and International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2021 she succeeded Sir Richard Eyre as President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, her alma mater and one of Britain's major drama schools. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's 2009 Birthday Honours, and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours, both for services to literature.
Evaristo was born in Eltham, south-east London, and christened Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo. She was raised in Woolwich, the fourth of eight children born to a white English mother, who was a schoolteacher, and a Nigerian father, Julius Taiwo Bayomi Evaristo (1927–2001), known as Danny, born in British Cameroon, raised in Nigeria, who migrated to Britain in 1949 and became a welder and the first black councillor in the Borough of Greenwich, for the Labour Party. Her paternal grandfather, Gregorio Bankole Evaristo, was a Yoruba Aguda who sailed from Brazil to Nigeria. He was a customs officer (d. 1927). Her paternal grandmother, Zenobia Evaristo, née Sowemima (d. 1967) was from Abeokuta in Nigeria. Her mother's paternal great-grandfather, Christoph Heinrich Louis Wilkening, arrived in London from Germany in the 1860s and settled in Woolwich, while her mother's maternal grandmother, Mary Jane Robbins, arrived in London from Birr, County Offaly, in Ireland in the 1880s and settled in Islington. Evaristo was educated at Greenwich Young People's Theatre (now Tramshed, in Woolwich), Eltham Hill Grammar School for Girls, the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, and Goldsmiths College, University of London, receiving her doctorate in creative writing in 2013. In 2019 she was appointed Woolwich Laureate by the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, reconnecting to and writing about the home town she left when she was 18.
Writer and editor
Evaristo is the author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. She notably experiments with form and narrative perspective, often merging the past with the present, fiction with poetry, the factual with the speculative, and reality with alternate realities (as in her 2008 novel Blonde Roots). Her verse novel The Emperor's Babe (Penguin, 2001) is about a black teenage girl, whose parents are from Nubia, coming of age in Roman London nearly 2,000 years ago. It won an Arts Council Writers' Award 2000; a NESTA Fellowship Award in 2003; it was chosen by The Times as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade in 2010; and it was adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2013. Next Evaristo published Soul Tourists (Penguin, 2005), about a mismatched couple driving across Europe to the Middle East, which featured ghosts of real figures of colour from European history.
Her novel Blonde Roots (Penguin, 2008) is a satire that inverts the history of the transatlantic slave trade and replaces it with a universe where Africans enslave Europeans. Blonde Roots won the Orange Youth Panel Award and Big Red Read Award, and was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Evaristo's other books include the verse novel Lara (Bloodaxe Books, 2009, with an earlier version published in 1997), which fictionalised the multiple cultural strands of her family history going back over 150 years as well as her mixed-race London childhood. This won the EMMA Best Novel Award in 1998. Her novella Hello Mum (Penguin, 2010) was chosen as "The Big Read" for the County of Suffolk, and adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2012.
As an editor, she guest-edited The Sunday Times Style magazine (UK) in July 2020 with a groundbreaking black-woman/-xn takeover, featuring an array of young artists, activists and change-makers. She guest-edited the September 2014 issue of Mslexia magazine, the Poetry Society of Great Britain's centenary winter issue of Poetry Review (2012), titled "Offending Frequencies"; a special issue of Wasafiri magazine called Black Britain: Beyond Definition (Routledge, 2010), with poet Karen McCarthy Woolf; Ten, an anthology of Black and Asian poets, with poet Daljit Nagra (Bloodaxe Books, 2010) and in 2007, she co-edited the New Writing Anthology NW15 (Granta/British Council). She was also editor of FrontSeat intercultural magazine in the 1990s, and one of the editors of Black Women Talk Poetry anthology (published in 1987 by the Black Womantalk Poetry collective of which Evaristo was part), Britain's first such substantial anthology, featuring among its 20 poets Jackie Kay, Dorothea Smartt and Adjoa Andoh.
Her 2014 novel Mr Loverman (Penguin UK, 2013/ Akashic Books USA, 2014) is about a septuagenarian Caribbean Londoner, a closet homosexual considering his options after a 50-year marriage to his wife. It won the Publishing Triangle Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction (USA) and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. In 2015 she wrote and presented a two-part BBC Radio 4 documentary, Fiery Inspiration – on Amiri Baraka, BBC Radio 4, 2015.
Evaristo's most recent novel, Girl, Woman, Other (May 2019, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin UK), is an innovative polyvocal "fusion fiction" about 12 primarily black British women. Their ages span 19 to 93 and they are a mix of cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, classes and geographies, and the novel charts their hopes, struggles and intersecting lives. In July 2019 the novel was longlisted for the Booker Prize and made the Booker Prize shortlist, announced on 3 September 2019, alongside books by Margaret Atwood, Lucy Ellmann, Chigozie Obioma, Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak, and on 14 October it won the prize jointly with Atwood's The Testaments. The win made her the first black woman and first black British author to win the prize. Girl, Woman, Other was shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction. In 2020, Evaristo was recognised for her writing as one of the United Kingdom's most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage by being included in the 2021 edition of the annual Powerlist.
Teaching and touring
Evaristo has taught creative writing since 1994. She has also been awarded many writing fellowships and residencies including the Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2015; for the British Council at Georgetown University, Washington DC; Barnard College/ Columbia University, New York; University of the Western Cape, South Africa; the Virginia Arts Festival (Virginia, USA), and Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. She taught the University of East Anglia-Guardian "How to Tell a Story" course for four seasons in London up to 2015.
Since 1997, she has accepted more than 130 international invitations as a writer. These involve writer-residencies and visiting fellowships, British Council tours, book tours, teaching creative writing courses and workshops as well as keynotes, talks and panels at many conferences and literary festivals. She chaired the 32nd and 33rd British Council Berlin Literature Seminar in 2017 and 2018. She also tours the UK on an ongoing basis and regularly hosts and chairs events.
Critic and advocate
Evaristo has written many articles, essays, fictions and book reviews for UK publications including: The Times, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar UK, The Times Literary Supplement, Conde Naste Traveller, Wasafiri, and the New Statesman. Aside from founding the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, she has judged many prizes and in 2012 was chair of judges for both the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
In 2006, Evaristo initiated an Arts Council-funded report delivered by Spread the Word writer development agency into why black and Asian poets were not getting published in the UK, which revealed that less than 1 per cent of all published poetry is by poets of colour.
When the report was published, she then initiated The Complete Works poetry mentoring scheme, with Nathalie Teitler and Spread the Word. In this national development programme, 30 poets were mentored, each over a one- or two-year period, and many went on to publish books, win many awards and receive serious recognition for their poetry. (See The Complete Works alumnae list at the end.)
Evaristo has also served on many key councils and advisory committees for various organisations including the Council of the Royal Society of Literature since 2017, the Arts Council of England, the London Arts Board, the British Council Literature Advisory Panel, the Society of Authors, the Poetry Society (Chair) and Wasafiri international literature magazine.
In the 1980s, together with Paulette Randall and Patricia Hilaire, she founded Theatre of Black Women, the first theatre company in Britain of its kind. In the 1990s she organised Britain's first black British writing conference, held at the Museum of London, and also Britain's first black British theatre conference, held at the Royal Festival Hall. In 1995 she co-founded and directed Spread the Word, London's writer development agency.
Evaristo was featured as the castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs on 20 September 2020, interviewed by Lauren Laverne. A portrait of Evaristo (2002) by photographer Sal Idriss is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Evaristo has delivered many keynotes, speeches and lectures worldwide since 1994. She delivered the New Statesman/Goldsmiths Prize lecture on 30 September 2020. In October 2020 she gave the opening keynote address at the Frankfurt Book Fair's Publishing Insights conference, in which she called on publishers to hire more people represent a wider range of communities: "We have to have people working in the industry from all these communities who are looking for something beyond the cliches and stereotypes."
Awards and recognition
- The Booker Prize 2019
- 2021: Nielsen Bestseller Award "for passing milestone sales thresholds"
- 2021: Honorary International Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (est. 1780)
- 2021: Vanity Fair, Challenger Award
- 2021: Glamour Woman of the Year, Gamechanging Author Award
- 2021: GG2 Woman of the Year Award
- 2021: Premio Lattes Grinzane (Italy) (finalist)
- 2021: Premio Gregor von Rezzori (Italy) (finalist)
- 2021: International Dublin Literary Award (finalist)
- 2021: European Literature Award, Holland (nominated)
- 2021: The Bookseller 150 power list
- 2020: President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
- 2020: Lifetime Honorary Fellow, St Anne's College, University of Oxford
- 2020: Lifetime Vice President, Royal Society of Literature
- 2020: Black Powerlist 2021 Top 100 (UK)
- 2020: Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage (est.1683), Trinity College Dublin
- 2020: Awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours for services to literature
- 2020: British Book Awards: Author of the Year
- 2020: British Book Awards: Fiction Book of the Year
- 2020: Indie Book Award for Fiction
- 2020: Le Prix Millepage, France
- 2020: Reading Women Award
- 2020: Voted one of 100 Great Black Britons
- 2020: The Vogue 25 for 2020 – list of Britain's 25 most influential women
- 2020: Elle 50 – list of Britain's gamechangers
- 2020: Orwell Prize (finalist)
- 2020: Women's Prize for Fiction (finalist)
- 2020: The Glass Bell Awards (finalist)
- 2020: Visionary Honours Awards (finalist)
- 2020: Australian Book Industry Awards (nominated)
- 2020: Ferro-Grumley Award USA (finalist)
- 2020: The Bookseller 150 power list
- 2019: Financial Times: list of 14 women gamechangers
- 2019: Goodread's Choice Award Best Fiction (finalist)
- 2019: Gordon Burn Prize (finalist)
- 2019: Winner of the Booker Prize, October 2019
- 2018: Elected a Fellow, Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance
- 2017: Elected an Honorary Fellow, the English Association (est.1906)
- 2015: Triangle Publishing Awards: Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, USA
- 2015: The Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, USA
- 2014: Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize
- 2010: The Emperor's Babe, The Times (UK) "100 Best Books of the Decade"
- 2010: Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, USA (finalist)
- 2010: Poetry Book Society Commendation for Ten, co-edited with Daljit Nagra
- 2009: International Dublin Literary Award, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Big Red Read Award, Fiction and overall winner for "Blonde Roots"
- 2009: Awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to Literature
- 2009: Orange Prize Youth Panel Award for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Orange Prize for Fiction, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Arthur C. Clarke Award, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2006: Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (est.1754)
- 2006: British Council Fellow, Georgetown University, USA
- 2004: Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Literature (est.1820)
- 2003: NESTA Fellowship Award (National Endowment of Science, Technology & The Arts)
- 2002: UEA Writing Fellow, University of East Anglia
- 2000: Arts Council England Writer's Award 2000, for The Emperor’s Babe
- 1999: EMMA Best Book Award for Lara
- 2020: Vice Chancellor’s Award for Staff, Brunel University London
- 2017: Teach Brunel Award, Brunel University London
- 2015: CBASS Award for Excellence, Brunel University London
- 2014: Appointed The Public Orator, Brunel University London
- 2019: Girl, Woman, Other (novel, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; ISBN 978-0241364901)
- 2014: Mr Loverman (novel, Penguin UK; Akashic Books; ISBN 978-1617752896)
- 2010: Hello Mum (novella, Penguin UK; ISBN 978-0141044385)
- 2009: Lara (new, expanded edition, (Bloodaxe Books; ISBN 978-1852248314)
- 2009: Blonde Roots (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; Riverhead/Penguin, USA, 2009, ISBN 978-0141031521)
- 2005: Soul Tourists (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; ISBN 978-0140297829)
- 2001: The Emperor's Babe (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; Penguin USA, 2002, ISBN 978-0140297812)
- 1997: Lara (novel, Angela Royal Publishing; ISBN 9781899860456)
- 1994: Island of Abraham (Peepal Tree Press; ISBN 978-0948833601)
- 2020: First, Do No Harm, a poetic monologue, Old Vic Theatre online, directed by Adrian Lester and produced by Lolita Chakrabarti – starring Sharon D. Clarke.
- 2003: Madame Bitterfly and the Stockwell Diva. Verse drama. The Friday Play, BBC Radio 4 Starring Rudolph Walker, Clare Perkins, Dona Croll
- 2002: Medea – Mapping the Edge. Verse drama. Wilson Wilson Company at Sheffield Crucible Theatre and BBC Radio Drama
- 1984: Pyeyucca, an experimental verse drama. Theatre of Black Women tour. Additional material: Patricia St. Hilaire
- 1983: Silhouette, an experimental verse drama. Theatre of Black Women tour. Co-writer: Patricia St. Hilaire
- 1982: Tiger Teeth Clenched Not to Bite, a poetic monologue. Theatre of Black Women, the Melkweg, Amsterdam
- 1982: Moving Through, a choral dramatic poem, Talking Black Festival, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
Short fiction (selected)
- 2020: "Star of the Season", British Vogue
- 2020: "The White Man’s Liberation Front", New Statesman
- 2016: "The Human World" in How Much the Heart Can Hold, edited by Emma Herdman (Hodder & Stoughton)
- 2015: "Yoruba Man Walking" in Closure: a new anthology of contemporary black British fiction, edited by Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press)
- 2014: "Our Billy, (or should it be Betty?)" in Letter to an Unknown Soldier, 14–18 NOW UK WW1 Centenary Art Commissions (William Collins/HarperCollins)
- 2011: "I Think I’m Going Slightly Mad" in One for the Trouble, The Book Slam Annual, edited by Patrick Neate (Book Slam Productions)
- 2010: "On Top of the World", The Mechanics Institute Review, Issue 7 (Birkbeck, University of London)
- 2006: "Ohtakemehomelord.com" in The Guardian's annual short story supplement (July)
- 2005: On Top of the World (BBC Radio 4)
- 2008: "A Matter of Timing", The Guardian
- 1994: "Letters from London" in Miscegenation Blues: voices of mixed-race women, edited by Carol Camper (Sister Vision Press)
- 2021: Introduction to Beloved by Toni Morrison (Vintage)
- 2021: Introduction to for Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange (Orion)
- 2021: Introduction to Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy (Faber and Faber)
- 2021: Introduction to Bernard and the Cloth Monkey by Judith Bryan (1998) 'Black Britain: Writing Back' series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Minty Alley by C. L. R. James (1936), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Incomparable World by S. I. Martin (1996), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to The Dancing Face by Mike Phillips (1997), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to The Fat Lady Sings by Jacqueline Roy (2000), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Without Prejudice by Nicola Williams (1997), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2020: Foreword to Bedside Guardian, the annual Guardian anthology
- 2020: Introduction to Loud Black Girls, edited by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené (HarperCollins)Evaristo, Bernardine,
- 2020: "Literature Can Foster Our Shared Humanity", British Vogue, 6 June 2020.
- 2020: "The Longform Patriarchs and their Accomplices", New Statesman
- 2020: "On Mrs Dalloway", BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Claiming Whiteness", The House magazine, of the (Houses of Parliament)
- 2020: "Spiritual Pick and Mix", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Loving the Body Fat-tastic", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "The Pro-Mask Movement", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Gender in the Blender", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Why Black Lives Matter", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Theatre of Black Women: A Personal Account", in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage, edited by Jan Sewell and Clare Smout (Palgrave Macmillan)
- 2020: Foreword: "Re:Thinking: 'Diversity' in Publishing", by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente (Goldsmiths University/Newgen Publishing UK)
- 2019: "What a Time to be a (Black) (British) (Womxn) Writer", in Brave New Words, edited by Susheila Nasta (Myriad Editions)
- 2013: The Book that Changed Me Series: Essay on For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (BBC Radio 3)
- 2016: "The Privilege of Being a Mixed Race Woman", Tangled Roots: Real Life Stories from Mixed Race Britain, Anthology Number 2, edited by Katy Massey (Tangled Roots)
- 2011: "Myth, Motivation, Magic & Mechanics", Body of Work: 40 Years of Creative Writing at UEA (University of East Anglia), edited by Giles Foden (Full Circle Editions)
- 2010: "The Month of September", on writing and process, Volume 100:4, Winter 2010 Poetry Review
- 2010: Introduction to Ten poetry anthology, "Why This, Why Now?", on the need for The Complete Works initiative to diversify British poetry publications (Bloodaxe Books)
- 2010: Introduction to Wasafiri Black Britain: Beyond Definition, "The Illusion of Inclusion2, Issue 64, Winter 2010 (Routledge)
- 2009: Autobiographical essay, "My Father's House" (Five Dials)
- 2009: Autobiographical essay, Contemporary Writers, Vol. 275 (Gale Publishing, USA)
- 2008: "CSI Europe: African Trace Elements. Fragments. Reconstruction. Case Histories. Motive. Personal", Wasafiri (Taylor & Francis)
- 2007: "Writing the Past: Traditions, Inheritances, Discoveries" in Writing Worlds 1: The Norwich Exchanges (University of East Anglia/Pen & Inc Press)
- 2005: "False Memory Syndrome: Writing Black in Britain", in Writing Worlds (New Writing Partnership/University of East Anglia)
- 2005: "The Road Less Travelled", Necessary Journeys, edited by Melanie Keen and Eileen Daley, Arts Council England
- 2005: "Origins", Crossing Borders, British Council online
- 2005: "An Introduction to Contemporary British Poetry", British Council Literature Magazine
- 2001: "Roaring Zora" on the life and writing of Zora Neale Hurston, Marie Claire
- 1998: "On Staying Power" by Peter Fryer for BBC Windrush Education
- 1996: "Going it Alone" – one-person shows in black British theatre, Artrage
- 1993: "Black Women in Theatre", Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers edited by Kadjia George (Aurora Metro Press)
- 1992: "Black Theatre", Artrage (Winter/Spring)
- 2020: Guest Editor, The Sunday Times Style magazine
- 2014: Guest Editor, Mslexia quarterly magazine of creative writing, Issue Number 63
- 2014: Editorial Selector, the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize anthology, Let’s Tell This Story Properly, edited by Ellah Allfrey (Dundern Press, Canada)
- 2014–ongoing. Editorial Board, the African Poetry Book Fund, with Prairie Schooner poetry magazine at the University of Nebraska
- 2012: Guest Editor, Poetry Review, Offending Frequencies for The Poetry Society of Great Britain, Special Centenary Winter Issue, Volume 102.4
- 2014–2020, Originator and supervising editor of annual student anthologies at Brunel University London: The Voices Inside Our Heads, The Psyche Supermarket, The Imagination Project, It’s Complicated, Totem, Pendulum and Letter to My Younger Self 2019, Kintsugi
- 2010: Guest Editor, with Karen McCarthy Woolf, Wasafiri magazine of international literature, Black Britain: Beyond Definition, Special Winter Issue (Routledge)
- 2010: Editor, with Daljit Nagra, Ten: New Poets poetry anthology, introducing ten new poets from The Complete Works project (Bloodaxe Books)
- 2007: Editor, with Maggie Gee, NW15: New Writing Anthology, 15th annual edition (British Council and Granta)
- 1998–2008: Associate Editor, Wasafiri international literature journal (Queen Mary University London and Open University)
- 1996–1997: Editor, FrontSeat quarterly inter-cultural performance magazine (Black Theatre Forum)
- 1987: Editor, with Da Choong, Olivette Cole-Wilson, and Gabriela Pearse, Black Women Talk Poetry anthology
Literary prize juries
- 2020: Chair, Women's Prize for Fiction
- 2020: Sunday Times Style Journalism Competition
- 2019: Polari Book Prize for LGBTQ+ fiction
- 2019: Harper's Short Story Award
- 2019: Anthony Burgess/Observer newspaper Award for Arts' Journalism
- 2019: Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry
- 2018: 40 New Fellows under 40 Royal Society of Literature
- 2018: Chair: Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2018: Isis magazine Writing Competition, Oxford University
- 2018: The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
- 2018: Geneva Writers' Prize
- 2017: Chair: Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2016: Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize
- 2016: Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction
- 2016: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (USA)
- 2016: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2015: Prairie Schooner First Book Prize (USA)
- 2015: Costa Book Award Best Novel & Costa Book of the Year
- 2015: First Story National Writing Competition
- 2015: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2014: OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, Poetry (Trinidad)
- 2014: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, USA
- 2014: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2013: Golden Baobab Prize, Ghana (Short stories for African children)
- 2013: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (USA)
- 2013: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2012: Founder & Chair of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize
- 2012: The Poetry Society's Poetry News competition
- 2012: Chair: Caine Prize for African Fiction
- 2012: Chair: Commonwealth Short Story Prize
- 2011: Peacock Poetry Prize (Brighton Festival)
- 2010: T.S. Eliot Prize (Poetry)
- 2010: Alfred Fagon Award – (Black plays)
- 2010: Orange Award for New Writers (Women's fiction)
- 2009: Muslim Writers Awards with Penguin Publishers (Fiction)
- 2008: Decibel Penguin Prize (Fiction)
- 2007: Northern Rock Writers’ Award (Fiction & Poetry)
- 2006: The National Poetry Competition
- 2004: The Next Generation Top 20 List, organised by PBS and Poetry Society
- 1997: Ian St. James Award (Fiction)
- Vice Chair, Royal Society of Literature, 2017–2020
- Elected to Council, Royal Society of Literature, 2016–
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher EducationCreative Writing Panel, 2014–2051
- Arts Council England, Member of the South East Area Council, 2014–2105
- The Folio Prize, Member of the Academy, 2013 -
- Patron: SI Leeds Literary Prize for unpublished black/Asian women writers, 2012–
- Editorial Board: the African Poetry Book Series, APBF, University of Nebraska, 2012–
- Patron: Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF), 2009–2011
- The Society of Authors Management Committee, 2008–2009
- Founder: Free Verse & The Complete Works schemes, 2005–2017
- Advisory Committee: New Galleries, Museum of London, 2004–2008
- Advisory Board: MA Creative Writing, City University, 2004–2009
- Literature Advisor: The British Council, 2003–2006
- Special Literature Advisor: London Arts Board, 2001–2005
- Chair: The Poetry Society of Great Britain, 2003–2004
- General Council: The Poetry Society of Great Britain, 2001–2004
- Advisory Board: Wasafiri Literature Magazine, 2000–
- Board of Directors, Black Mime Theatre Company, 1990s
The Complete Works alumnae
- Rowyda Amin
- Malika Booker
- Janet Kofi-Tsekpo
- Mir Mahfuz Ali
- Nick Makoha
- Karen McCarthy Woolf
- Shazea Quraishi
- Roger Robinson
- Denise Saul
- Seni Seneviratne
- Mona Arshi
- Jay Bernard
- Kayo Chingonyi
- Rishi Dastidar
- Edward Doegar
- Inua Ellams
- Sarah Howe
- Eileen Pun
- Adam Lowe
- Warsan Shire
- Raymond Antrobus
- Leo Boix
- Natacha Bryan
- Victoria-Anne Bulley
- Will Harris
- Ian Humphreys
- Momtaza Mehri
- Yomi Sode
- Degna Stone
- Jennifer Lee Tsai
- Girl, Woman, Other, Penguin.
- Wood, Heloise (30 December 2019), "Obama hails Girl, Woman, Other and Normal People as favourite books of 2019", The Bookseller.
- Gay, Roxane (6 February 2020). "A Year in the Life: 2019". Medium. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- Segal, Corinne (6 February 2020). "Roxane Gay's favorite book of 2019 was Girl, Woman, Other". LitHub. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- "Manifesto". Penguin Books Limited.
- Brunel International African Poetry Prize website.
- "The Complete Works". Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- "About Us", Spread the Word.
- "Theatre of Black Women", Unfinished Histories: Recording the History of Alternative Theatre. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- Black Theatre Forum
- "Bernardine Evaristo rediscovers six novels by Black writers for Black Britain: Writing Back series". Penguin. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- Rollock, Nicola. "UK Black Female Professors". Dr. Nicola Rollock.
- "No. 63135". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 2020. p. B12.
- Harolds, Laolu (7 September 2019), "Two Nigerian Novelists Make 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist", Nigerian Tribune.
- "Biography". Bernandine Evaristo Official Website. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- Fadumiye, AdeOla. "Social: Bernadine Evaristo …on the crossroads of culture". Genevieve. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Payne, Tom (23 March 2003). "A Writer's Life: Bernadine Evaristo". The Telegraph. United Kingdom. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Innes, C. L. (2007). The Cambridge Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English. Cambridge University Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1139-4655-95. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
Bernardine Evaristo grandfather slave.
- Bernardine Evaristo biography, British Council, Literature.
- "Bernardine Evaristo, Goldsmiths College". gold.ac.uk. Goldsmiths University of London. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- "Bernardine Evaristo on Woolwich: 'We weren't allowed to play outside'". The Guardian. 7 September 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- "Bernardine Evaristo, Professor of Creative Writing", Brunel University London.
- Merritt, Stephanie (24 August 2008), "When slavery isn't such a black-and-white issue", The Observer.
- Kroll. Jeri (December 2018), "The Hybrid Verse Novel and History: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo revisioning the past", Axon, Issue 7.2: Contemporary Boundary Crossings and Ways of Speaking Poetically.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bernadine Evaristo.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Bernadine Evaristo|
- Official website
- "Bernardine Evaristo", Contemporary Writers, British Council.
- Bernardine Evaristo at Diaspora Writers UK.
- Toh Hsien Min, "Never Forgetting The Source — Bernardine Evaristo makes productive use of history" (interview), Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Vol. 3, No. 2, January 2004.
- Curry, Ginette. "Toubab La!": Literary Representations of Mixed-race Characters in the African Diaspora, Newcastle, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.
- Rosanna Greenstreet, "Bernardine Evaristo: 'How often do I have sex? Eight times a day'", The Q&A, The Guardian, 25 July 2020.