Black History Month Book Club

Poor by Caleb Femi
WCSA Welfare
Date 17/10/2022 at 19.00 - 17/10/2022 at 20.30 Where Gatsby Room (Chancellor's Centre)

Come along to the Black History Month Book Club on Monday 17 October in the Gatsby Room

Poor by Caleb Femi

We will be reading Poor  (iDiscover, eBook) by Caleb Femi, a collection of poems and photographs, and winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and Book of the Year by New Statesman, Financial Times, Guardian, Observer, Rough Trade and the BBC. Copies and e-books are being kindly provided by the Lee Library!

As Penguin write: "What is it like to grow up in a place where the same police officer who told your primary school class they were special stops and searches you at 13 because 'you fit the description of a man' - and where it is possible to walk two and a half miles through an estate of 1,444 homes without ever touching the ground?

In Poor, Caleb Femi combines poetry and original photography to explore the trials, tribulations, dreams and joys of young Black boys in twenty-first century Peckham. He contemplates the ways in which they are informed by the built environment of concrete walls and gentrifying neighbourhoods that form their stage, writes a coded, near-mythical history of the personalities and sagas of his South London youth, and pays tribute to the rappers and artists who spoke to their lives.

Above all, this is a tribute to the world that shaped a poet, and to the people forging difficult lives and finding magic within it. As Femi writes in one of the final poems of this book: 'I have never loved anything the way I love the endz."

The discussion will be guided by Ana Maria Villaveces and Sophie Marie Niang:

Ana María Villaveces is a current PhD Candidate in Latin American Studies at Cambridge who has dedicated her entire career to the study of literature. After completing her MPhil Degree in European, Latin American, and Comparative Cultures last year she decided to further focus on Contemporary Latin American Horror in her studies and it is in this field that she is currently researching. She also completed an undergraduate degree in Literature in Los Andes University in Colombia and has a passion for reading, book clubs, and teaching.

Sophie Marie Niang is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate in the department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on black worldmaking practices in contemporary France, interrogating art, activism and popular culture. Alongside her academic work, she has been a member of the Bad Form editorial team, a books magazine by and about people of colour, and works part-time for the political and independent publishing house Hajar Press. She is deeply passionate about interdisciplinary and collaborative work, and the circulation of knowledge outside of the academy.

Please feel free to come along even if you can only read a few of the poems, or even if you've read none and are interested in listening to the discussion. This will be an informal conversation, so please come ready with some thoughts!

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