Rose Cartwright has OCD, but not as you know it. Pure is the true story of her 10-year struggle with ‘Pure O’, a little-known form of the condition, which causes her to experience intrusive sexual thoughts of shocking intensity. It is a brave and frequently hilarious account of a woman who refused to give up, despite being undermined at every turn by her obsessions and enduring years of misdiagnosis and failed therapies.
Eventually, the love of family and friends, and Rose’s own courage and sense of humour prevailed, inspiring this deeply felt and beautifully written memoir. At its core is a lesson for all of us: when it comes to being happy with who we are, there are no neat conclusions.
OWN IT! welcomes the latest creative to join our eclectic collective of authors and artists.
Selina Nwulu has written for a number of outlets such as the Guardian, New Humanist and Red Pepper and has toured her poetry extensively, both internationally, including a literary tour in Northern India, and throughout the UK with a number of cultural institutions such as MAC Birmingham, BBC Radio 4 and Southbank Centre. She has also been featured in Vogue, ES Magazine, i-D and Blavity amongst others.
Selina works both as a creative and as a consultant in the social and climate justice sector, having been a voice for climate justice for over 10 years.
From 2017- 2018, she was ‘Writer and Creator in Residence’ at the Wellcome Trust, looking creatively at food and how it connects to our health and matters of social and environmental justice. In 2019 she worked with Somerset House on a project around loneliness and climate change for their Earth Day Season, a project she is looking to expand. Later that year her work was also exhibited as part of Get Up Stand Up Now, an exhibition, also at Somerset House, celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.
She was Young Poet Laureate for London 2015-16, and her debut collection, The Secrets I Let Slip, published by Burning Eye Books in 2015, is a Poetry Book Society recommendation. In 2019, Selina was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and she has been published in a number of anthologies, including the critically acclaimed New Daughters of Africa.
She has just finished her first full length collection of poems.
“I’m excited to join the OWN IT! team and be a part of an amazing collective of artists looking to push the limits of their creative work. I’m looking forward to building on my achievements and expanding my craft into new areas and forms of writing.”
An opinionated, expressive wordsmith, the artform embraced Suli whilst studying his Law degree at University. Feeling more connected to the street-level aesthetic of spoken words, than he did to the strait jacket requisites of an academic setting, Suli continues to live out his dream to revolutionise poetry, creating a universally recognisable brand in the process.
Suli has gained wider appeal and gone viral via his spoken word video Why I Hate School but Love Education (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_ZmM7zPLyI&t=10s) garnering 2 million views within a 3-day span. This led to speaking at engagements at various institutions worldwide and doing work with noteworthy brands such as NASA, Microsoft, Google and others.
Suli also headlined his own show in 2016, Not a Role Model, and penned an original poem that features on the track “Glass” for Kasabian’s fifth studio album, the number 1 charting 48:13 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgzDtLt_7l4).
Suli continues to live out his dream to revolutionise poetry, creating a universally recognisable brand in the process.
A massive congratulations to OWN IT!’s DEREK OWUSU for winning the 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize for his powerful novel-in-verse That Reminds Me.
That Reminds Me is the story of one young man, from birth to adulthood, told in fragments of memory. It explores questions of identity, belonging, addiction, sexuality, violence, family and religion. It is a deeply moving and completely original work of literature from one of the brightest British writers of today.
Anansi, your four gifts raised to nyame granted you no power over the stories I tell…
This is the story of K.
K is sent into care before a year marks his birth. He grows up in fields and woods, and he is happy, he thinks. When K is eleven, the city reclaims him. He returns to an unknown mother and a part-time father, trading the fields for flats and a community that is alien to him. Slowly, he finds friends. Eventually, he finds love. He learns how to navigate the city. But as he grows, he begins to realise that he needs more than the city can provide. He is a man made of pieces. Pieces that are slowly breaking apart.
We stand in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters in America and we will do all we can to support the work happening on the ground there. We want to amplify the letter and petition from The Movement for Black Lives(a collective of Black organisations from across America including Black Lives Matter) to defund the police in the United States. In their letter they state:
According to the Urban Institute, in 1977, state and local governments spent $60 billion on police and corrections. In 2017, they spent $194 billion. A 220 percent increase. Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer.
Read their letter in full and sign the petition here
By signing the petition you are joining our American family in demanding local American officials take the pledge to:
Vote no on all increases to police budgets
Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets
Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep Black people safe.
It’s also important that it is acknowledged that systematic and institutionalised racism against Black people is not just an American issue.We have our own longstanding issue with these injustices in the UK from racial profiling to police brutality and murders.
Alongside this the UK government repeatedly fails us from allowing Grenfell to happen to more recently delaying the report with findings about why COVID-19 is disproportionately causing deaths of Black and Brown people.
This is a time for us to speak out, support the organisers on the ground and educate ourselves and each other. Art has always been one of our most powerful forms of protest and activism and we will always use the OWN IT! platform to shine a light on the voices working to make our world a more just and equal place for all.
We want to show our support with more than just words so we will be donating all of our publishing profits for the month of June to George Floyd’s family.
We are also open to hearing from any UK Black owned organisations fighting against police brutality and racial injustice about ways we can support.