Nick Laird and Kayo Chingonyi at Newcastle University

Nick Laird and Kayo Chingonyi at Newcastle University

18th October 2018

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New work from two exciting poets

Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. His debut collection is Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus, 2017) which won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for many prizes including the Costa Poetry Prize and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. Underpinned by a love of music, language and literature, this powerful debut explores race, identity and masculinity, and celebrates what it means to be British and not British, all at once. Kayo is poetry editor for The White Review and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University.

Nick Laird’s latest poetry collection is Feel Free (Faber & Faber, 2018). With characteristic variety, invention and wit, Laird explores the sundry patterns of freedom and constraint – the family, the impress of history, the body itself – and how we might transcend them. Born in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1975, Nick Laird is the recipient of many prizes for his poetry and fiction, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, the Betty Trask Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His previous collections include include To a Fault (2005), On Purpose (2007), and Go Giants (2013). In 2017 he co-edited the anthology The Zoo of the New with Don Paterson. He has lived in London, Warsaw, and Rome, and is currently writer-in-residence at New York University.