Margaret Busby, publisher

Margaret Busby, publisher

By BBC Radio 4

Margaret Busby is a publisher and editor who was the chair of the Booker Prize jury in 2020.

She has spent a life time in the literary world and was the youngest person and first black woman to set up a publishing house when she was twenty three years old. Together with Clive Allison, she created Allison and Busby based in Soho, London.

Margaret was born in Ghana in the 1940s and spent her childhood at a boarding school in the UK whilst her parents ran a medical practice in rural Ghana. She studied English at Bedford College, University of London before embarking on her career in publishing.

Margaret’s love of poetry was the catalyst for setting up Allison and Busby. They were both totally new to publishing and did not know the usual industry rules. She and her business partner had fifteen thousand, five shilling poetry magazines printed without any means of distributing them . They went on to be an eclectic publishing house championing new work and also reprinting classic texts from writers of all backgrounds.

In recent years, Margaret has made time to be a literary judge and has compiled two landmark anthologies Daughters of Africa and New Daughters of Africa which pull together writings by women of African descent from Ancient Egypt to the present day.

DISC ONE: 7 Seconds by Youssou N’dour with Neneh Cherry DISC TWO: Haiti by David Rudder DISC THREE: Ave Maria – Gounod by Kathleen Battle (soprano) and Orchestra of St. Lukes, conducted by Leonard Slatkin DISC FOUR: Visions by Stevie Wonder DISC FIVE: My Baby Just Cares For Me by Nina Simone DISC SIX: Masanga by Jean Bosco Mwenda DISC SEVEN: Soweto Blues by Miriam Makeba DISC EIGHT: On The Sunny Side Of The Street by Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins And Sonny Stitt

BOOK CHOICE: Return to My Native Land by Aimé Césaire LUXURY ITEM: An endless supply of Ghanaian chocolate CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Visions by Stevie Wonder

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Sarah Taylor

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