The value of anthologies over single author books is interesting to consider. The obvious consequence of creating an anthology is that a wider cross-section of insights are represented, whether they be present in poems, short stories or essays. Of course the editor will have curated the pieces present in an anthology, so the over-riding theme is moulded by one person in this way. Nevertheless the anthology can be a very effective way of exhibiting the works, and therefore lived experiences, of a wide range of people.
In the past few months we have found ourselves working on several anthologies which have the objectives of providing a platform for those from underrepresented groups – Life, Honestly, It’s Not About the Burqa and Safe: On British Men Reclaiming Space. The notion of voice and representation were particularly central to It’s Not About the Burqa and Safe. This necessitated contrasting approaches to casting, in order to best convey the wide variety of stories and experiences present in all these pieces.