Yomi Sode, Raymond Antrobus and Victoria Adukwei Bulley are among 17 contemporary Black British poets recording their poems for a new collection by the Poetry Archive and Obsidian Foundation. The collection will be added to each year and complements an existing library of celebrated Black poets which includes Linton Kwesi Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Bernardine Evaristo.
The Poetry Archive will capture the voices of important poets reading their work to preserve their voices for future generations to enjoy. Alongside the poems, recordings of conversations between the selected poets will be available. All the poems featured in the collection have been selected by the poets themselves and will be freely accessible for a global audience and partners for education, with a suite of resources tailored to primary and secondary students.
Sode (above) will see his new collection Manorism published with Penguin in May 2022. Antrobus was shortlisted for the T S Elliot Prize this year, and Adukwei Bulley was recently published by Faber. Other poets in the collection include Rachel Long who leads the Octavia Poetry Collective, Caleb Femi, winner of the 2021 Forward prize for best first collection, and Warsan Shire, whose poetry featured in Beyoncé’s film “Lemonade” and debut book Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems, which will be published by Chatto & Windus in March 2022.
Chris Albani, Inua Ellams, Jacob Sam La-Rose, Jay Bernard, Kayo Chingonyi, Keith Jarret, Malika Booker, Momtaza Mehri, Nick Makoha, Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Roger Robinson will also feature. The Obsidian Foundation Collection will be available on the Poetry Archive website from 18th February 2022, with a live launch the day before.
The PoetryArchive is partnering with the Obsidian Foundation
There are fewer resources dedicated to the history and contemporary development of Black poets’ work and we wanted to address this through this new Obsidian Foundation Collection to include recordings, interviews, interpretations, blog responses, academic responses and a timeline to build a ‘family tree’
”We believe poetry is for everyone, and we make our poetry recordings freely available so that visitors to our collections can hear how the authors read their work. We make the highest quality recordings of the significant poets of the day so that, year by year, current and future generations can continue to hear these poems and experience the zeitgeist of the age through poetry.Tracey GuiryPoetry Archive