Penguin Press has bought the rights (UK and Commonwealth) to Nigerian-British author Yomi Ṣode’s debut collection Manorism, in a deal negotiated with Ṣode’s agent Suresh Ariaratnam at Sprung Sultan.
The book is scheduled for publication in Spring 2022.
Here’s a description of the book by its publishers;
“In poems exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging, Manorism is an examination of the lives of Black British men and boys. At the heart of the book is the ongoing pressure of code-switching – changing one’s behaviour and language to suit radically different cultural contexts and environments. The violence of artists such as Caravaggio in 17th-century Rome, and modern-day commentary by the likes of David Starkey and Piers Morgan, provide a lens for considering differences of impunity afforded to white and Black people. Snippets of Yoruba interweave with English, and a moving final sequence, part poetry, part play, charts the dramatic reconciliations surrounding a death in the family. The result is a thrillingly original book that charts the vulnerabilities and rich nuances of Black masculinity in Britain.”
Yomi Ṣode is a Nigerian-British poet, playwright, facilitator and recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse’s Last Word Festival and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2019 his essay ‘The F Word’ was featured in Safe: 20 Ways To Be A Black Man In Britain, and in 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and Chineke! Orchestra was lauded by BBC Radio 3 and The Guardian. He is a Complete Works alumni, a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, founder and co-host of BoxedIn, a poetry night held at Boxpark Shoreditch, The Daddy Diaries, an online blog platform for Fathers & guardians, and First Five via Instagram Live, an interview series in which he and guests discuss literature through the medium of music.
Regarding the acquisition, Ṣode said: “I’m very excited to bring Manorism into the world. It has lived with me, travelled with me, reflected with me and joined me at points of happiness and mourning. It is an honour to know my work will be joining the likes of Terrance Hayes, Caleb Femi and Claudia Rankine. I treasure this collection very much, and I can’t wait for folks to read it.”
Ariaratnam said: “Manorism speaks to a lived experience that for too long has been unheard. In this collection, Yomi Ṣode enables us to listen and in doing so extends our vision of the poetic terra cognita.”