Novelist, editor and Observer columnist, Nikesh Shukla joins poet, writer and Radio 4 documentary broadcaster, Byron Vincent as part of a 26-date live literature programme, Word on Tour.

Nikesh Shukla is the author of Costa Award-shortlisted Coconut Unlimited and Meatspace, lauded by BBC Radio 4 and the Independent on Sunday. He is also editor of the highly regarded, The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays written by 21 British writers of colour. The essays offer personal insights into race and immigration in the UK. Chosen as Radio 4’s Book of the Week and with 50,000 sales, its sequel, The Good Journal, is due to be published in April 2018.

Nikesh is passionate about giving voice to the rich diversity of talented and under-represented British writers who identify as black and minority ethnic, working class, disabled or LGBTQ. He recently was awarded major funding to create The Good Literary Agency to do just that. With a third novel due out soon, a debut book for Young Adults out later this year and many a journalist’s deadline, the College is excited that he’s taking time out to of his busy schedule.

He is joined by poet, performer, documentary writer and Mental Health ambassador, Byron Vincent. One of BBC poetry season’s New Talent Choices, and known for his unsettlingly perceptive wit, Byron is a regular on the UK’s festival circuit. He has performed on Channel 4, BBC and Radio 4, where he has spoken about his own experiences of growing up in the care system. His most recent Radio 4 documentary, Glasgow Boys: From Chaos to Calm, offers candid insights into the many causes of violence and advocates a successful scheme that brings peace to otherwise chaotic lives. Currently touring his latest theatre show, Live Before You Die, Byron’s debut solo show Talk About Something You Like received much critical acclaim for it’s poignant and personal exploration of the mental health system.

These may be serious subjects, but both writers’ successes largely depend on their skill at self-deprecating humour and the practiced art of a well-timed joke. We’re delighted to be showcasing these two talented, funny and thought provoking writers, who will share their words, motivations, setbacks and successes. Helen Chaloner, CEO of Literature Works says: “Word on Tour is about bringing the region’s writing and performance talent to the door of local communities…..We hope audiences will embrace these fun, celebratory performances.”

Bridgwater and Taunton College Library hosts the fifth of Word on Tour’s 26 events. It will be held in Lecture Theatre A, Taunton Campus and starts at 1.30pm on Friday, 23 February. This event is largely aimed at the student community. However, a limited number of £5 tickets are available for purchase by the general public, via Eventbrite.

Word on Tour is funded by the Arts Council, in partnership with South West Regional Library Service. Other college libraries taking part are Petroc FE College in Barnstaple and Yeovil College, Somerset. Follow Literature Works and the hashtag #WordonTour on social media for all the latest updates.