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Mawunyo Gbogbo Hip Hop & Hymns

LMawunyo Gbogbo is a church-going African Australian girl growing up in the sleepy mining town of Muswellbrook, NSW. At home, her parents argue all the time, and sibling rivalry runs deep. At primary school, Black Is Beautiful until a racist bully dares to tell her otherwise. But at high school, she falls in love with two things that will alter the course of her adult life: the seductive thrill of hip hop music and charismatic bad boy Tyce Carrington. Tyce also feels like an alien in Australia, despite his Aboriginality – or because of it.

When Mawunyo’s offered a chance to further her budding media career in New York City at the Bible of hip hop, The Source magazine, she throws herself headlong into the city’s heady buzz and hustle – but even as it lures her in, it threatens to derail her dreams.

Hip Hop & Hymns is a tussle between the search for belonging and ultimately accepting who you are, and a clear-eyed, heartfelt story about daring greatly and what it can mean to be Black in Australia.

About the author

Mawunyo Gbogbo is a music and pop culture reporter for Double J and ABC News, and the author of Hip Hop & Hymns. She has worked as a journalist for ABC NewsRadio; a features reporter and producer for ABC Radio Sydney; a segment producer for the Today Show on the Nine Network; and an associate producer for Insight on SBS TV, where she won a UN Media Peace Award. Mawunyo was born in Ghana, raised in Muswellbrook in the NSW Hunter Valley, and now calls Sydney home.

Hip Hop & Hymns

Author Mawunyo Gbogbo

First published by Penguin Books Australia 2022

Reproduced by permission of Penguin Books Australia

If you’d like to own the book visit

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Sally Bothroyd – Brunswick Street Blues

Lee Kofman – The Writer Laid Bare

Lynn Garlick – Binding: More than a motherhood memoir

Maryam Master – Exit Through the Gift Shop

Fiona McGregor – Buried Not Deat

Patti Miller – True Friends

Andrew Kwong – One Bright Moon

Lisa Fuller – Ghost Bird

Angela O’Keefe – Night Blue

Peter Cochrane – The Making of Martin Sparrow

Pamela Freeman – Dry to Dry

Catherine Jinks – The Attack

Luke Johnson – Ferocious Animals

David Brooks – Animal Dreams

Malla Nunn – Sugar Town Queens

Felicity Castagna – Girls in Boys’ Cars

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Writing Western Sydney: The Readings and Writing Western Sydney: The Interviews are projects supported by

Poets’ Corner is WestWords’ monthly encounter with celebrated Australian poets, curated by David Ades. Each month a poet is invited to read and talk about their poetry on a theme of the poet’s choice.

In May the guest poet is Maria Takolander.

Maria Takolander is a Finnish-Australian poet, fiction writer, essayist, and independent scholar. She is the author of four books of poetry: Trigger Warning (UQP 2021), which won a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award; The End of the World (Giramondo 2014), named a best book of the year in Australian Book Review and reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books; Ghostly Subjects (Salt 2009), shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award; and the chapbook Narcissism (Whitmore Press, 2005). Her poems were selected for The Best Australian Poems and/or The Best Australian Poetry every year from 2005 until those anthologies ceased publication, and are represented in Motherlode: Australian Women’s Poetry 1986-2008 (2009), Thirty Australian Poets (2011), the Turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry (2014), Contemporary Australian Poetry (2016), #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement (2019), The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (2020), What We Carry: Poetry on Childbearing (2021), Homings and Departures: Selected Poems from Contemporary China and Australia (2021), and Fishing for Lightning: The Spark of Poetry (2021). Her poems have also been published internationally. Radio National aired a program about her poetry in 2015, and she has performed her poetry on TV and at the 2017 International Poetry Festival of Medellín, Colombia. Maria is also a prize-winning fiction writer and the author of The Double (and Other Stories) (Text 2013), short-listed for a Melbourne Prize for Literature.
Her website is

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