Henderson is CEO of Writing East Midlands, a literature development agency which works to enhance the region’s reputation for the quality and diversity of its writers, and as a place which values writing as an art and for its social impact.
Before setting Writing East Midlands up in 2008, Henderson was CEO of Index on Censorship, a campaigning NGO, and Publisher at Writers and Scholars Educational Trust which publishes to support freedom of expression. He has sat on Boards that include Nottingham Festival of Literature, New Art Exchange, SOAS Radio, Human Rights House Network, and the Free Word Centre’s Development Board.
As a boy, Saturday morning’s meant swimming at Birmingham’s Moseley Road - a magnificent Victorian pool full of white tiles and stained glass - followed by an hour in the oak panelled Library next door. I’d sit there pretending I was rich. Rich people read books. Or was it reading books would make you rich. I can’t remember.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen was the first I think. Later I realised great books had ideas that altered the way you saw things in some way. Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things, Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Rhoda Lerman’s Book of the Night, Brian Aldiss’s Space, Time and Nathaniel, Ursula Le Guin’s Dispossessed, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Homer’s The Iliad, Walcott’s Omeros, Heaney’s Beowulf, Melville’s Moby Dick. There are others, but these are great - rich, at least, in ideas.
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