Launch event for Mapping the Future with Nathalie Teitler and Karen McCarthy Woolf

Launch event for Mapping the Future with Nathalie Teitler and Karen McCarthy Woolf

'This is vital writing, wide-ranging in form and subject.’ – Matthew Gilley, The New Statesman, on Mapping the Future


Bloodaxe launched Mapping the Future: The Complete Works Poets online with anthology editors Nathalie Teitler and Karen McCarthy Woolf, plus guest poets from the anthology, on our YouTube channel on 17 October 2023. The event was introduced by Bernardine Evaristo (scoll down to view this as a separate video).

Both editors discussed the anthology with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley, and were joined by poets Denise Saul, Leo Boix, Nick Makoha, Edward Doegar and Will Harris, who read a selection of their poems from Mapping the Future, along with some new work. A special video of pre-recorded readings by other poets from the anthology was also shown as part of the launch event.

This free Bloodaxe launch event is now available to watch on this YouTube page:


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.


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.


To order copies of the anthology direct from Bloodaxe, please click on the links below. If you are in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU, you can order via Books Upstairs in Dublin:


Ireland & EU:


Mapping the Future: The Complete Works Poets

Mapping the Future: The Complete Works Poets is a new anthology bringing together work by all 30 Fellows of the Complete Works poetry mentoring scheme supporting British poets from diverse backgrounds. The anthology is edited by Nathalie Teitler, Director of The Complete Works, and Karen McCarthy Woolf, a Fellow of the programme who went on to edit the second two TEN anthologies featuring work by The Complete Works poets. 

In her introduction to Mapping the Future, Nathalie Teitler recounts the history of The Complete Works, which supported 30 poets from 2008 through to 2020, and which has become the most successful collective ever formed in British poetry. In her Foreword to the anthology, Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo explains why she was prompted to set up The Complete Works programme. A report she initiated found that 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 played a significant role in this transformation of the British poetry scene, producing three Forward Prize winners, two T.S. Eliot Prize and Ted Hughes Award winners, along with single prize wins for the Somerset Maugham Award, Dylan Thomas Prize, Rathbones Folio Prize and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. TCW Fellows have gone on to judge every major poetry award, publishing over 40 collections between them.

Mapping the Future presents new or recent work by Complete Works Fellows including Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Kayo Chingonyi, Inua Ellams, Will Harris, Sarah Howe, Roger Robinson, Warsan Shire, Yomi ᚢode and Karen McCarthy Woolf. It also includes ten engaging essays re-drawing the map of British poetry, touching on some of the most significant topics of our time.


Rishi Dastidar chose Mapping the Future as one of his poetry books of the year in his feature of 5 December in The Guardian.

'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), on Mapping the Future


'This is vital writing, wide-ranging in form and subject.’ – Matthew Gilley, The New Statesman, on Mapping the Future

Register for free to read the article in full.


Karen McCarthy Woolf was born in London to English and Jamaican parents. She is a Fellow of The Complete Works, and was included in its first anthology, Ten: New Poets from Spread the Word (2010), edited by Bernardine Evaristo & Daljit Nagra. McCarthy Woolf edited the subsequent anthologies, Ten: The New Wave (2014) and Ten: Poets of the New Generation (2017), also co-editing Mapping the Future: The Complete Works (2023) with Nathalie Teitler, all from Bloodaxe Books. Her first collection, An Aviary of Small Birds (Carcanet, 2014), was shortlisted for both the Forward and Aldeburgh Best First Collection Prizes. Her second, Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet, 2017), was a winner in the inaugural Laurel Prize for ecological poetry. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022.

Nathalie Teitler was born in Buenos Aires and holds a PhD in Latin American Poetry (King’s College London, 2000). She has run literature programmes promoting diversity in the UK for over 20 years and is Director of The Complete Works. She co-edited Un Nuevo Sol: British LatinX Writers (flipped eye, 2019) with Nii Ayikwei Parkes, and Mapping the Future: The Complete Works (2023) with Karen McCarthy Woolf. She was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018, and was appointed Projects Manager for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships in 2018.

[04 October 2023]

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