To amplify diverse voices

A specialised bookstore advocates for books written by authors of colour to take up more space on our shelves.

‘The Australian publishing industry has so much more to do in terms of seeing the value of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) stories outside of our trauma or our role in educating white people on how they can be better allies. We have valuable stories to tell in both fiction and non-fiction,’ says Jing Xuan Teo, one half of the duo at Amplify, a bookstore that was founded in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, and exclusively stocks works from writers of colour.

Teo and her colleague, Marina Sano Litchfield, have just celebrated Amplify’s second birthday. From its humble beginnings, this start-up has grown to accommodate and stock thousands of titles across fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

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Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy