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This Isn't a Dream: Conversations with Writers (Series Two)
Institute of Contemporary Arts

This Isn’t a Dream returns for a second series:

Presented by writer Isabel Waidner, This isn't a Dream is a fortnightly literary chat show hosted by the ICA via Instagram live. The 40-minute-long live episodes feature informal conversations between Waidner and various authors about writing and process.

The line-up for series 2 is: The right lube (15 April 2021), Irenosen Okojie (29 April 2021), Huw Lemmey (27 May 2021) and Brontez Purnell (10 June 2021).

The title of the series plays on the classic narrative get-out trope ‘it was all a dream’, and the surrealness of life under Covid and conservative state policy to which it fails to apply.
The right lube is a collaboration between Maz Murray and Hava Carvajal which combines cultural criticism, trans shitposting and hormone replacement therapy redistribution. They are currently suffering from Long Covid.

Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British writer. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular, published by Jacaranda Books, was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her new collection of stories Nudibranch, published by Dialogue Books, was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. She is the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for Fiction for her story ‘Grace Jones’, and a fellow and Vice Chair of The Royal Society of Literature. 

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children's book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. His latest novel 100 Boyfriends is published in May 2021 in the UK by Cipher Press and in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers' Award for Fiction, Purnell was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers of Our Time by The New York Times Magazine. He is also the frontman for the band The Younger Lovers, a co-founder of the experimental dance group The Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock. He lives in Oakland, California.

Huw Lemmey is a novelist and artist. He is the author of three novels: Unknown Language (Ignota Books, 2020), Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell (Montez Press, 2019), and Chubz: The Demonization of my Working Arse (Montez Press, 2016). Huw has written for the Guardian, Frieze, Flash Art, Tribune, TANK, The Architectural Review, Art Monthly, New Humanist, Rhizome, The White Review, and L’Uomo Vogue, amongst others. He writes the weekly essay series utopian drivel and is the co-host of the podcast Bad Gays.

Isabel Waidner is a writer and critical theorist. Their novels We Are Made of Diamond Stuff (2019) and Gaudy Bauble (2017) were shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize (2x), and won the Internationale Literaturpreis. They are a co-founder of the event series Queers Read This at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, and the programmer and presenter of This isn’t a Dream, a literary talk show, hosted by the ICA via Instagram live. Their next novel Sterling Karat Gold is forthcoming with Peninsula Press on 24/6/2021 and can be pre-ordered now.


15 April, 7pm: The right lube
29 April, 7pm: Irenosen Okojie
27 May, 7pm: Huw Lemmey
10 June, 7pm: Brontez Purnell

All episodes take place on Instagram live. Follow icalondon for regular updates and to watch live.

This Isn’t a Dream: Conversations with Writers (Series One)