SuAndi has written poetry, prose and librettos and has performed her poetry internationally. She was born of a British mother and Nigerian father in Hulme, Manchester, in 1951. She was active as a dancer and model before becoming a performance poet in 1985. Since the mid 1980s she has also been the freelance Cultural Director of the National Black Arts Alliance, on whose behalf she has organised a wide range of exhibitions and events.
She has published various collections of poems, including Style (1990), Nearly Forty (1994), There Will Be No Tears (1996) and I Love the Blackness of my People (2003). Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. Her solo performance The Story of M was commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1995 and following its publication in 2017 included in the the A-levels English Literature syllabus of the EdExcel Examination Board. She has also written two librettos, The Calling (BBC Philharmonic 2005), and Mary Seacole, which had a West End opening and toured Britain in 2000. Her poetry performances have been recorded and broadcast. In 2019 she published a collection of interviews with white women in mixed-race relationships (or with their children) Strength of our Mothers.
She was awarded an OBE for her contributions to the Black Arts Sector in 1999 and received The Windrush Inspirational Award (2003), a NESTA Dreamtime Award (2005) and a Winston Churchill Fellowship (1996). She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Lancaster (in 2015) and from Manchester Metropolitan University (DArt in 2018). She is currently Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester.
Bennet, Jim. “Poetry by SuAndi.” Caught in the Net 67 (November 2010). Poetrykit.org. Accessed 11 Nov. 2013.
Osborne, Deirdre. Introduction. "Mothertext: Restoring the Mixed Matrilineal Routes to Heritage." The Story of M, by Suandi, Oberon Books, 2017.
Osborne, Deirdre. "Skin Deep, a Self-Revealing Act: Monologue, Monodrama, and Mixedness in the Work of SuAndi and Mojisola Adebayo." JCDE: The Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, 54–69. DOI 10.1515/jcde-2013-0006.
Ramey, Lauri. "Performing Contemporary Poetics: The Art of SuAndi and Patience Agbabi". Women: A Cultural Review, vol. 20, iss. 3, (2009): 310-322.
Strength of our Mothers, interviewed by Suandi.National Black Arts Alliance, 2019.
Suandi. "I'm a Very Northern, Mixed-Race Woman." An Interview with Anne Fuchs. Staging New Britain: Aspects of Black and South Asian British Theatre Practice, edited by Geoffrey V. Davis and Anne Fuchs, Peter Lang, 2006, pp. 205-217.
SuAndi. Style in Performance. Manchester: Pankhurst Press, 1990.
SuAndi. Nearly Forty. Manchester: Spike Books, 1994.
SuAndi. There Will Be No More Tears. Manchester: Pankhurst Press, 1996.
SuAndi. I Love the Blackness of my People. Manchester: Pankhurst Press, 2003.
SuAndi. The Calling. London: BBC Philharmonic, 2005. Music.
Suandi. "Cultural Memory and Today's Black British Poets and Live Artists." "Black" British Aesthetics Today, edited by R. Victoria Arana, Cambridge Scholars, 2007, pp. 31-49.
SuAndi. “The Libretto of Mary Seacole.” Hidden Gems vol. II. Ed. Deirdre Osborne. Oberon Books, 2012.
“SuAndi: Her Work was Recognised with an O.B.E. in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.” Apples and Snakes: Poetry With Bite. Accessed 11 Nov. 2013.
Image source: www.lancaster.ac.uk