Sept. 4, 2018


Danell Jones


Launch party set for Dr. Danell Jones of MSU Billings

Celebration of book publication to be held Sept. 5



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The Billings community is invited to join Dr. Danell Jones of the MSU Billings English Department for a launch party celebrating the publication of her new book: An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor on September 5 in the Billings Public Library Community Room. 


Come and discover the captivating world of early 20th-century London: think suffragettes and motorcars, dandies and beggars, a devastating flu epidemic and the ravages of World War I. Enjoy refreshments and learn about the forgotten story of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor, an African writer determined to fight for social justice as he proved his talent on the world’s greatest literary stage.


book cover
The launch party will begin with a reception and book signing from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Jones will then hold an author talk from 7:00-8:00.


Danell Jones’s poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in various publications including the Denver Quarterly, Beyond Baroque, Gingko Tree Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Tonopah Review, The Virginia Woolf Miscellany, and Virginia Woolf: Themes and Variations. She has been awarded the Jovanovich prize for poetry from the University of Colorado and has been a finalist for both the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference Poetry Prize and the PEN/Nelson Algren in Fiction.


Jones has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she was awarded a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities and a Bennett Cerf Award for her work on Virginia Woolf.  She is the author of The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing (Random House), Desert Elegy (Finishing Line)in addition to An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B. C. Merriman-Labor (Hurst). She is a founder and instructor for the Big Sky Writers’ Workshop.


Advanced praise for An African in Imperial London has already come from professors of a variety of universities. “Written with great verve,” says Peter Stanksy, Frances and Charles Field Professor of History at Stanford University, “An African in Imperial London reconstructs the life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor . . . Both he and his biographer provide a rich picture of London, particularly in his most important work . . . an enlightening account of what it meant to be black in the most powerful country in the world." Hakim Adi, professor of the history of African and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester says, “Elegantly written and meticulously researched for over seven years, An African in Imperial London presents the life and times of Augustus Merriman-Labor: Sierra Leonean writer, barrister, munitions worker during the First World War, and much more besides. This is an important addition to the history of Africans in Britain.”


Copies of An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor will be available for purchase at a special book launch price.


For more information, contact Dr. Danell Jones at