British writer Elizabeth Amisu is the author of eight books and numerous writings that span the genres of fiction, screenplay, short story, non-fiction, poetry, essays, literary criticism, playwriting and reviews. Her writing and projects are based around her interest in fantasy and black identity. Lightnings, her sixty-minute stage play aims to demonstrate an understanding, through written form and practice, the origins, developments in and critical contributions to changing definitions of adolescence and relate these to ideas of spirituality and the supernatural. As a result of her play and dissertation, “How the themes of the spiritual and supernatural can explore the liminal space in today’s contemporary theatre”. Elizabeth was awarded the 2008 prize for Highest Overall Mark in the Faculty of Creativity and Culture.
Elizabeth’s novel series The Sacerdos Mysteries, was published in 2012 and draws readers into the magical world of Terra Magna, with its ancient-futuristic cities and colourful people and oceans. Connected by a series of portals, the people of Terra Magna are divided into the ungifted and gifted. The giftblood minority have been in power for centuries. Having started The Sacerdos Mysteries in 2012, Elizabeth has gone on to publish three more books in the series: Arcane Rising; Waterblood; DISequilibrium. The fifth book in the series, Gifted Blood is set to be published in 2022.
The Huffington Post called Sacerdos ‘a modern masterpiece’ and wrote that it is ‘a gripping young adult novel, riddled with the coming-of-age themes, following a dystopian world that begins to unravel… caught somewhere between Dickens and Graham Greene is the eloquent yet sharp language style of Amisu, and it’s a flair that bleeds into her character development’.
As part of Elizabeth’s work with young people aged 16-19 she took part in the National Theatre’s New Views program 2011/2012 exploring playwriting with students aged 16-19 with professional mentoring, CPD for teachers and the exciting chance to see students’ work performed at the NT. Through the New Views program Elizabeth was upskilled as a practical facilitator and was able to encourage students to explore a range of pertinent topics through creative writing. It was during this experience that she wrote her play, By the Book (Artonomy) set in a world where art and finance are mythically intertwined.
Elizabeth has written extensively for a range of online and in-print publications including film reviews for the National Student and AccioPotter.com. Elizabeth has a wide range of over twenty-five online courses on a range of topics including Introduction to Michael Jackson Studies, Black Science-Fiction and Fantasy, and Building Fantasy Worlds as well as How to Make Money as an Artist. She won second prize at the Southend Literary Festival in 2010 and the MigMag.co.uk Short Story Competition in 2012. Her fiction regularly focuses on supernatural cities and alternative families.
Elizabeth’s first non-fiction book, The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona and His Artistic Afterlife was published in September, 2016 by ABC-CLIO (Praeger imprint) and it was published in the USA on the same date. It is available to read and borrow at the British Library, where it has been archived. Elizabeth’s 2016 monograph focuses on Jackson’s historical context through an analysis of his films, songs, and books, examining him as an artist and shedding light on the political and ideological debates that surrounded him. Not shying away from the controversial aspects of Jackson’s life and legacy, it also tackles questions of sexuality and racism, gender and class, comparing Jackson to artists ranging from J.S. Bach to Andy Warhol. Through its examination of Jackson’s entire catalog, the work connects all the aspects of his art and life to exemplify — and explain — the performer’s unparalleled influence.
Elizabeth is editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies online. For the journal she has edited two publications. The first, An Academic Companion to Michael Jackson Studies boasts work from a wide range of academics in many forms: from journal articles and monographs to blog entries and essays. There are fantastic examples of emerging literary criticism written for the education of a whole breadth of people interested in the academic study of the artist, Michael Jackson. The companion presents a selection of twelve academic works within the greater body of critical discourse related to Michael Jackson, along with where to find these works and for what academic purposes one might read and cite them. This companion has been edited with a view to providing the reader with a very strong overview of the challenges and interpretations around the artists’ work in the past thirty years.
Elizabeth is the first of three children, in East London, to a Nigerian mother and a Nigerian father. Her father, Ibukunolu Alao Babajide is a barrister and her mother, Daisy Amisu is a project manager. She was educated at Newlands School, East Sussex; Buckinghamshire New University; and King’s College London.
She lives in London.