Jack Mapanje was born in Kadango, Malawi and became one of Southern Africa’s most distinguished academics. He now lives in York. He was arrested in 1987 and held without charge or trial in Mikuyu Prison and although many writers, linguists and human rights activists campaigned for his release, he was not freed until 1991.

He has published three collections of poetry Of Chameleons and Gods, The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison and Skipping without Ropes (1998).  His latest book is The Last of the Sweet Bananas: New & Selected Poems. Jack edited Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing based on a degree course he taught at the Unviersity of Leeds, 1993-96, and has also selected and edited An African Thunderstorm & Other Poems (2004). Jack is currently teaching Creative Writing and Literatures of Incarceration in the School of English,  University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

His story ‘Hold Them Tight’ features in Light Transports.