how to make books in your kitchen…

Bandit Queen Press makes young female writers of color, such as myself, hopeful about the future. Bandit Queen Press’s existence expels the myth that self-publishing is unsophisticated and lacks global market potential. Lesley-Ann Brown has established herself amongst the best wordsmiths in the publishing arena- which she collaborates with in this venture.  Yet, she willingly chose to reflect the spirit of creative freedom -even at the production level. Her hand-made books of literary and poetic brilliance are the very culmination of creative expression. A Bandit Queen Press book- is to have a work of art. The invaluable and long-forgotten treasure of reading a book of both skillfully crafted words & materials is a Bandit Queen Press staple. The content of Bandit Queen Press’ works is always thought-provoking and culturally conscious -reading that compliments a lifestyle where creative thought is paramount.  — Issa E. Blank, Clear Clean

I was soooo pleased to see so many of the poets who made def poetry great immortalized in such a loving, beautiful, and carefully thought-out publication. The choice of poets and poems captured the spirit of modern poetry. It’s a book that I keep carefully packed and bagged. It sits on the shelf next to my first editions of Howl by Allen Ginsberg and Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.

Danny Simmons, Writer, collector, and artist.

Bandit Queen Press was founded in 2007 by Brooklyn-born writer/artist Lesley-Ann Brown. Created on a Copenhagen kitchen table, Bandit Queen Press is an authentic response to what it means to publish: to make it public. Inspired by the saying “whoever controls the media, controls the message,” Bandit Queen Press has continued, throughout the years, to respond authentically to the continual co-option of art: whether it be written, spoken, and/or visualized. Bandit Queen Press is about returning to humanity’s intuitive inclination to contemplate, create and celebrate in life. Recognizing that the image is mightier than the sword, part of Bandit Queen Press’s goal is to create imagery (with words, visuals, and sound) that counter-acts the otherwise debilitating effects of modern, global, corporatized media.

Bandit Queen Press is about sharing ideas the way our ancestors shared seeds from a good harvest or extra fruit from a tree with their neighbors. It’s about looking into our past, studying our relationship to ourselves, each other, the cosmos, the earth, and her inhabitants. It’s about taking ideas (ethereal) and rendering them material. Finally, it recognizes the universal alchemy involved in everything.

It was a joy to attend Lesley-Ann’s zine-making workshop last year at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. We learned about restorative justice through the lens of Trinbagonian activist Gillian Goddard and her (decolonial) chocolate project. We had informative and inspiring conversations about crops, trade routes, colonialism, belonging, ingredients, and so much more. Together we made a beautiful and poetic zine, which gave me hope and excitement for the future. Lesley-Ann is a great teacher, warm and sincere, and so full of wisdom to share. – Sabitha Söderholm, poet, artist, and writer

I have had the honor of having Lesley Ann as a keynote speaker, teacher, and panel member for the past 5 years.

Hundreds of my students, colleagues, and guests from across the globe have benefited from her rich and unique hybrid knowledge and deep understanding of the contexts in the Caribbean, USA, Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, and Denmark in particular.

Lesley Ann speaks, teaches, and writes about and comments on pressing cross-cutting global issues of our time: the power of culture and the narratives, stories, role of education, race relations, identity, gender, human rights, youth, etc. Literature, poetry, the spoken word, and her pen are powerful tools she deploys in her educational work.

Thus, if you need someone to speak, write and teach about any of the above topics, Lesley Ann is the expert to consider. If you need someone to help educate you about what the world needs most today and in the future: education for global citizenship, Lesley Ann is the one I would recommend. — Garba Diallo, Director of Crossing Borders

Lesley-Ann Brown is the author of four books, two of which were published under the Bandit Queen Press project. The first was a limited collection of “The Organist’s Daughter,” which she sold at local Copenhagen poetry readings and other community events. Her last two books, Decolonial Daughter: Letters from a Black Woman to her European Son (2018) and Black girl on Mars (2023), are published by Repeater Books (UK). Throughout her years in Denmark, Brown has co-organized the first Women of Color panel and “Say It Loud,” a collective of Black and Women of Color poets – both efforts being the first of their kind in Denmark. In 2018 she was invited to TedX – Odense, where she shared her thoughts and poem “Country: A Roadmap to Liberation,” In 2017, she was the national spokeswoman for the Woman’s March in Copenhagen – one of the largest demonstrations that day, globally. 

Bandit Queen Press is a movement and has included collaborations with Suheir Hammad, Tony Medina, Willie Perdomo,  Prescott College, UniArts Finland/Theatre Academy, Royal Danish Art Academy, and many more! Click below to see some of BQP’s latest zine collaborations: