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
The Making of Ten
This ten-minute documentary produced for Spread the Word has interviews with all ten poets as well as several of their mentors, organisers Emma Hewett and Nathalie Teitler, and co-editor and prime mover Bernardine Evaristo. The poets were mentored by ten leading British poets in the Complete Works project devised in response to the Free Verse report (2005) on why so few black and Asian poets are published by the mainstream British poetry imprints.