South African poet Koleka Putuma is set to release her poetry collection titled We Have Everything We Need to Start Again, which will be published by Hot Key Books in summer 2024.

The YA collection will publish on June 20, 2024 in the US and UK, with an early May South African release date. The book will be illustrated by Stockholm-based Adriana Bellet, known for designing book covers for Dean Atta’s Black Flamingos and Christina Hammonds Reed’s The Black Kids.

According to The Bookseller, commissioning editor Ella Whiddett bought world rights to the book from Manyano Media. Whiddett remarked that she was blown away by Putuma’s poetry:

Every time I return to the writing, I’m struck anew by how sharp and thought-provoking Koleka’s verse is, how unique in its form, language and structure. Every line, every word, is a powerful statement of what she, and the next generation, stand for. It’s a call to protest, a call to love, a call to hope.

The publisher describes the collection with glowing reviews, promising that it “will empower and uplift readers, with poems to affirm and provide a positive outlook on a wide range of themes and coming-of-age experiences, including mental health, sexuality, gender, climate change and identity”. We certainly hope that this collection will live up to its name!

Putuma is thrilled about her forthcoming book, which she hopes will “act as a mirror and companion, holding the reader’s hand as they navigate transitions, questions and discoveries”, as reported by The Bookseller. She announced the publication news on Instagram, sharing her excitement with her fans:

I am over the moon to announce that my new book and first collection of poems for young adults will be published by @hotkeybooks and illustrated by @jeezvanilla, which will be released in South Africa in May 2024 and worldwide in June 2024.

This collection is very close to my heart and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Koleka Putuma is a South African poet and playwright based in Cape Town. Putuma’s 2017 debut poetry collection for adults Collective Amnesia⁠ has been translated into eight languages, received the 2018 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, and was named 2017 book of the year by the City Press and one of the best books of 2017 by The Sunday Times and Quartz Africa. She has also published Hullo, Bu-Bye, Koko, Come In (2021) and No Easter Sunday for Queers (2020).

Putuma is a Forbes Africa Under 30 Honoree, 2022 winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award, recipient of the CASA playwriting award and the 2019 Distell Playwriting Award, and was nominated one of Okay Africa’s most influential women in 2019.

Congrats to Putuma on the forthcoming collection! Preorder here.