cover image More Fiya

More Fiya

Edited by Kayo Chingonyi. Canongate, $22 (208p) ISBN 978-1-83885-530-7

In Chingonyi’s introduction to this expansive anthology of Black British poetry, he writes of “community, ingenuity and persistence in the face of overwhelming pressures to the contrary.” These versatile and varied poems serve as a testament and witness to this fact as they touch on racial injustice, ecological grief, the politics of hope, and the pull of sex, desire, and other worldly forces. Dean Atta writes, “my phone is a grave and my bed/ is a grave.” “My life is fragile/ round here,” echoes Bridget Minamore. Momtaza Mehri writes that “unfreedom is so boring,” and yet these poems are anything but. They are the “funny thing” that Adam Lowe calls desire—complex, surprising, and radical in both theme and structure, and whole in their moments of fragility and strength. Considered together, they offer a poignant answer to the dreaded question: “Why poetry?” as their voices protest, flirt, grieve, mourn, and laugh collectively. Chingonyi has amplified the voices of commanding writers in this bighearted anthology. (June)