Place of birth
United Kingdom
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
Sierra Leone

Kadija Sesay

Short biography
Kadija Sesay is a literary activist of Sierra Leonean descent. She read West African studies at Birmingham University, then became a freelance journalist. In the mid-1990s she worked for the Centreprise Literature Development Project as the Black Literature Development Co-ordinator, and set up the newspaper Calabash. In 2001 she founded SABLE LitMag.

Kadija (George) Sesay is the founder/publisher of SABLE LitMag, and SABLE LitFest. She is the series editor for the Inscribe imprint of Peepal Tree Press that publishes work by Black British writers. The Inscribe imprint includes the highly acclaimed anthologies, Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry (2010) and Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories (2015).

She is the editor of several other anthologies of work by writers of African and Asian descent, including, Dreams Miracles and Jazz: New Adventures in African Fiction (Picador Africa 2008) edited with Helon Habila. Other anthologies include Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa (with Nii Ayikwei Parkes), IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (with Courttia Newland) and Write Black, and Write British: From Post Colonial to Black British Literature. She has published her own poetry, short stories, essays and articles in magazines, journals, anthologies and encyclopaedias in the UK, USA and Africa; and has been broadcast on the BBC World Service.

Her poetry collection, Irki (which means ‘Homeland’ in the Nubian language) was published by Peepal Tree Press (2013) and shortlisted for the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry (2014). She is currently working on several other book projects including her poetry collection The Modern PanAfricanists Journey, for which she was awarded a research and development grant from Arts Council England; and an anthology of essays, 21 Februrary: Progress and Possibilities for a Pan Africanist Future.

Kadija has co-ordinated various literary events, such as Word from Africa at the British Museum (2008), and organises international writers' residencies – the SABLE Writer’s HotSpot to The Gambia, Cuba and New York. She has received several awards for her work in the creative arts. She is a fellow of the George Bell Institute and a fellow of the Kennedy Arts Centre of Performance Arts Management. She is currently a scholarship postgraduate student at the University of Brighton, researching independent Black publishers.