The Mermaid of the Black Conch: Monique Roffey in Conversation

The Mermaid of Black Conch is based on a Neo-Taino legend of a beautiful woman transformed into a mermaid. Set in 1976 in a Caribbean village, it is a lyrical and vivid story of love, loss, family and friendship, as well as the destructive power of jealousy, and the terrible force of nature. This is the seventh book by Monique Roffey, her first love story and winner of the Costa Book of the Year, 2020. It was also shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020 and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. Join Monique at this special event as she talks about her award-winning book, her life and career with poet Nikita Gill.


Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born British writer. Her books have been shortlisted for the Costa Fiction Award, the Orange Prize and the Encore Award, and she won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. She is a lecturer on the Novel MFA (Master of Fine Arts) at Manchester Metropolitan University and has also taught creative writing and mentored emerging writers in Trinidad for several years, for COSTAATT, the OCM Bocas Lit Fest, and privately in Port of Spain. Monique is an active member of Extinction Rebellion and a co-founder of Writers Rebel, an initiative set up to encourage writers to address the climate emergency in their work. In October 2019, she and Writers Rebel organised for 40 writers and poets, including Ali Smith, Naomi Alderman and Salena Godden, to speak in Trafalgar Square as part of Extinction Rebellion’s October Uprising.


Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and poet living in the south of England. With a huge online following, her words have entranced hearts and minds all over the world. Her latest collection of poetry was written during the pandemic and is titled Where Hope Comes From: Healing Poetry for the Heart, Mind and Soul.