Foreword by Bernardine Evaristo
In 2008 the level of poets of colour published by major presses was less than 1%. By 2020 it was over 20%. The Complete Works Poetry – an initiative spearheaded by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo – played a significant role in this change. Supporting 30 poets from 2008 through to 2020, The Complete Works produced an unprecedented number of prizewinners, including the Forward Prizes (3), T.S. Eliot Prize (2), Ted Hughes Award (2), Somerset Maugham Award, Dylan Thomas Prize, Rathbones Folio Prize and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. TCW Fellows have also gone on to judge every major poetry award, and to take on significant roles in academia and translation, publishing over 40 collections.
The Complete Works has become the most successful collective ever formed in British poetry. Mapping the Future offers new or recent work by all 30 writers the programme has supported, including Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Kayo Chingonyi, Inua Ellams, Will Harris, Sarah Howe, Roger Robinson, Warsan Shire, Yomi Ṣode and Karen McCarthy Woolf. It also includes highly personal and politically engaged essays re-drawing the map of British poetry by 10 of the 30 poets, touching on some of the most significant topics of our time.
Mapping the Future is not just a magnificent anthology of some of the best UK poets, it is also an exploration on how poetry in Britain has become much more inclusive over the past 15 years: what has been won, and what is still being fought for. This anthology offers a timely insight into British poetry and how the voice of the ‘other’ continues to take centre-stage in pivotal times.
Mapping the Future is edited by poet Karen McCarthy Woolf, editor of the second two Ten anthologies in The Complete Works series, with Dr Nathalie Teitler, director of The Complete Works.
'Mapping the Future is a groundbreaking anthology of poetry and original essays offering fresh and daring literary perspectives from a new generation of outstanding British poets. It represents a landmark moment in the history of poetry.' – Bernardine Evaristo
Full list of poets included: Mir Mahfuz Ali, Rowyda Amin, Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Jay Bernard, Leo Boix, Malika Booker, Omikemi Natacha Bryan, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Kayo Chingonyi, Rishi Dastidar, Edward Doegar, Inua Ellams, Will Harris, Sarah Howe, Ian Humphreys, Janet Kofi-Tsekpo, Adam Lowe, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Nick Makoha, Momtaza Mehri, Eileen Pun, Shazea Quraishi, Roger Robinson, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne, Warsan Shire, Yomi Sode, Degna Stone, Jennifer Lee Tsai.
'The year also saw three noteworthy anthologies ... Mapping the Future (Bloodaxe), edited by Nathalie Teitler and Karen McCarthy Woolf, brings together poems and essays from the 30 graduates of the Complete Works, the programme that did so much to bring recognition to British-based poets of colour such as Malika Booker and Roger Robinson.' – Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian (Best poetry books of 2023)
'This generous anthology marks 15 years of the transformative project founded by Bernardine Evaristo and directed by Nathalie Teitler, which has been rocket fuel for work by British poets of majority global heritage ... The 30 Complete Works fellows comprise a roster of some of the most influential voices in the UK today, including Raymond Antrobus, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Sarah Howe, Roger Robinson and Warsan Shire. This volume demonstrates again how visionary that programme of mentorship and real-world opportunities was. There’s a breathtaking variety of poetics ... read this for excitement, inspiration, and also to map, as Eileen Pun puts it, “How thought becomes manifest, how the I / continually tries every variation of light”.' – Fiona Sampson, The Guardian (Poetry Books of the Month)
'This is vital writing, wide-ranging in form and subject.’ - Matthew Gilley, The New Statesman, on Mapping the Future
'Established by Bernardine Evaristo, The Complete Works is the most transformative poetry collective ever; in 2008 the number of poets of colour published by major presses was 1%, by 2020 it was 20%. This book represents this seismic shift, with new work by poets including Raymond Antrobus, Warsan Shire and Jay Bernard.’ – Chris McCabe, Librarian, National Poetry Library, in The Bookseller (Autumn 2023 Highlights) on Mapping the Future: The Complete Works Poets
'A landmark text in British poetry, Mapping the Future reunites the thirty fellows of The Complete Works - a who's who of contemporary British poetry - with selections of new poetic and critical writing. Where the original [TEN] anthologies foregrounded novelty, here are those same artists in full artistic maturity, with conviction and force behind their ambitions, curiosities, solidarities and visions.' – Oluwaseun S. Olayiwola, Poetry Book Society Winter Bulletin 2023
Poems from Mapping the Future
This video features these poets reading their poems from the anthology: Leo Boix, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Ian Humphreys, Degna Stone, Rishi Dastidar, Adam Lowe, Eileen Pun, Rowyda Amin, Malika Booker, Roger Robinson, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne and Inua Ellams.
Bernardine Evaristo on Mapping the Future
Bernardine Evaristo talks about the cultural importance of The Complete Works, which she founded, and the anthology Mapping the Future, drawing on the Foreword she wrote for the book.
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