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Ten: new poets

Ten: new poets

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Ten: new poets

Longueur:
132 pages
37 minutes
Sortie:
Mar 27, 2014
ISBN:
9781780370378
Format:
Livre

Description

This groundbreaking anthology of ten new poets truly reflects the multicultural make-up of contemporary Britain. At a time when less than 1% of all poetry books published in the UK are by black or Asian poets, the work of these writers testifies to the quality and versatility of vital writing that should not be overlooked. These new voices draw on cultural influences and multiple heritages that can only enrich and broaden the scope of contemporary British poetry. This anthology is the culmination of a much needed initiative by literature development agency Spread the Word to support talented Black and Asian poets. The poets' histories are to be found in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ireland and England. Their eclectic, wide-ranging poems will take you on a journey into war and exile, myth and magic, homeland and memory, fantasy, family and love. Whether travelling through the streets of London, the killing fields of Bangladesh, the cane fields of the Caribbean, or back in time to the life of a courtesan in 3rd century BC India, these poems will open up new landscapes for the reader. Ten's new poets are: Mir Mahfuz Ali, Rowyda Amin, Malika Booker, Roger Robinson, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Nick Makoha, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne, Shazea Quraishi and Janet Kofi-Tsekpo. Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.
Sortie:
Mar 27, 2014
ISBN:
9781780370378
Format:
Livre

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Aperçu du livre

Ten - Bloodaxe Books

TEN

Poetry Book Society Special Commendation

This groundbreaking anthology of ten new poets truly reflects the multicultural make-up of contemporary Britain. At a time when less than 1% of all poetry books published in the UK are by black or Asian poets, the work of these writers testifies to the quality and versatility of vital writing that should not be overlooked. These new voices draw on cultural influences and multiple heritages that can only enrich and broaden the scope of contemporary British poetry. This anthology is the culmination of a much needed initiative by literature development agency Spread the Word to support talented Black and Asian poets.

The poets’ histories are to be found in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ireland and England. Their eclectic, wide-ranging poems will take you on a journey into war and exile, myth and magic, homeland and memory, fantasy, family and love. Whether travelling through the streets of London, the killing fields of Bangladesh, the cane fields of the Caribbean, or back in time to the life of a courtesan in 3rd century BC India, these poems will open up new landscapes for the reader.

Ten’s new poets are: Mir Mahfuz Ali, Rowyda Amin, Malika Booker, Roger Robinson, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Nick Makoha, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne, Shazea Quraishi and Janet Kofi-Tsekpo.

‘This thrilling, moving, challenging and inspiring new anthology introduces 10 sparkling new talents who demonstrate the richness, energy and confidence of the poetic voice in our multicultural country. It is a joyful and important moment in publishing’

CAROL ANN DUFFY

, Poet Laureate

COVER PAINTING

Afro Jezebel by Chris Ofili (2002-03)

OIL PAINT, POLYESTER RESIN, GLITTER, MAP PINS

AND ELEPHANT DUNG ON LINEN, WITH TWO

ELEPHANT DUNG SUPPORTS, 244 x 183 cm

(VICTORIA MIRO GALLERY, LONDON)

TEN

NEW POETS

EDITED BY

BERNARDINE EVARISTO &

DALJIT NAGRA

spread the word

CONTENTS

Title Page

BERNARDINE EVARISTO

: Why It Matters

1   KAREN McCARTHY WOOLF

Comment:

MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS

Yellow Logic

1. The Weather in the Womb

2. My Limbs Beat Against the Glass

3. Mor Bleu

4. Mort Dieu

5. White Butterflies

6. Yellow Logic

2  ROWYDA AMIN

Comment:

CATHERINE SMITH

Mojave

Desert Sunflowers

Insect Studies

Frost Fair

Monkey Daughter

Grandparents

3MIR MAHFUZ ALI

Comment:

PASCALE PETIT

My Salma

Midnight, Dhaka, 25 March 1971

My First Shock at School

Bidisha on the Wall

Still Birth

4DENISE SAUL

Comment:

JOHN STAMMERS

City of Coffee and Rain

Quartz Cave

Moon Jelly

One

5ROGER ROBINSON

Comment:

PAUL FARLEY

The Stand Pipe

Griffiths

Mr Lee Wah Moves Mountains

Miss Jagroop

The New La Diablesse

6SHAZEA QURAISHI

Comment:

FIONA SAMPSON

The Courtesan’s Reply

The Sixty-four Arts

The Days of Chandragupta Maurya

Tambulasena

Mwanza, Malawi

7MALIKA BOOKER

Comment:

W.N.HERBERT

Overseer’s Lament

Earth’s Salt

Plait

Pepper Sauce

8SENI SENEVIRATNE

Comment:

MIMI KHALVATI

Sitting for the Mistress

Roquebrun

L’inconnue de la Seine

Montefegatesi

9NICK MAKOHA

Comment:

GEORGE SZIRTES

The Drive-In

Prayers for exiled poets

Father Cornelius

Beatitude

10JANET KOFI-TSEKPO

Comment:

MICHAEL SCHMIDT

Eudora Welty

Poem for Rumi

Rose Garden, Lidice

Book of Puddle

Biographies of editors

Biographies of mentors

Acknowledgements

Previous publications

Spread the Word

Copyright

WHY IT MATTERS

In 2004 I was asked to be one of seven judges for a prestigious poetry promotion organised by the Poetry Book Society. Called Next Generation Poets, it was supposed to identify the twenty best new poets published in the UK since 1994. I agreed to be a judge but to my dismay noticed that no black or Asian poets were among the many names submitted. I recommended five whose work had been unfairly overlooked. In the end only one poet made the list, Patience Agbabi.

I raised the issue with Ruth Borthwick, then Director of Literature at the South Bank Centre. She supported an approach I made to Arts Council England. I emailed its Literature Department and suggested they investigate the situation, especially as they fund a lot of poetry presses. Their response was immediate, concerned, positive and gratifying. Ruth and I had a meeting with them and they decided to commission a report as a first step to rectifying this unacceptable state of affairs. Spread the Word Writer Development Agency was commissioned to look into why so few black and Asian poets were being published in this country.

(The terms ‘black poet’ or ‘Asian poet’ are, of course, problematic and controversial. Few writers want to be labelled, pigeon-holed, or solely-defined by race or skin colour. But the terms do serve as a convenient shorthand for easy identification.)

The final report, Free Verse (2005), was written and researched by Danuta Kean and Melanie Larsen. It revealed that less than 1% of poetry books published in Britain are by black and Asian poets.

This was a shock, even to someone like myself who had long realised how dire the situation was. How, in the 21st century, in a country such as Britain which has an integrated, racially diverse population, could this tacit colour/culture bar still operate in the poetry publishing world?

I thought back to the 1980s when, in a climate of pioneering arts activism, several poets with a Caribbean heritage were published in Britain, for example, John Agard, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, James Berry, Valerie Bloom, David Dabydeen, Fred D’Aguiar, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Grace

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