We send in all our poetry collections to the Forward Prize as a matter of course, whether as entrants for best overall poetry book of the year, or as best first collection. Up until now, they’ve smiled sweetly and moved on. This year, however, two poems from those collections were picked to go in the anthology and ‘highly commended’.
Having just published the audio version of Rhiya Pau‘s debut poetry collection, Routes (narrated by Farhana Khalique) we thought it was time to share some of the video from the launch at Keats House last November.
Rhiya will be reading from Routes at Round Table Books in Brixton Village Market on 22nd June 8pm as part of our partnering for Independent Bookshop Week.
Free tickets and full details on Eventbrite
Arachne Press: Ten Years of Book Cover Art, continues until 15th February
Tuesdays to Fridays 11-5 and Saturdays 11-4
Stephen Lawrence Gallery University of Greenwich
10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich London
More information about the exhibition can be found here
As part of the exhibition, we have two LIVE IN PERSON events at the gallery
Tuesday 7th February 6.30 BSL interpreted curator tour with Cherry Potts and Deaf artist, Nina Thomas.
Recently, we have been choosing cover artists who share the experience of our authors, and for our Deaf anthology, What Meets the Eye, we asked Nina Thomas to provide the cover. Her complex, multi-layered photographic creations perfectly captured the theme of Movement that we chose for the book.
Join us for a BSL interpreted wander around the exhibition and find out about books, book covers, art, and putting on an exhibition.
BSL interpetation provided by Paul Michaels
Tuesday 9th February 6pm Routes, Imagining the Diaspora with artist, Suman Gujral and poet, Rhiya Pau:
Suman and Rhiya met when we chose Suman’s Story Plate for the cover of Rhiya’s poetry collection Routes. Both are inspired by their families’ journeys and the diaspora more generally.
Join them for a poetry reading, art sharing, discussion of where their work intersects, and a short hands-on workshop making poetry boats, which you can take home, or leave to be displayed in the gallery.
You might want to bring a favourite pen, relevant newspaper articles or family photos printed onto (both sides of) paper that will easily fold.
NOTE!! Stephen Lawrence Gallery is in STOCKWELL STREET, not to be confused with Stephen Lawrence Centre or Building also in Greenwich.
The release of Rhiya Pau’s upcoming poetry collection, Routes marks fifty years since her family arrived in the U.K. Routes began as an attempt to chronicle the history of Rhiya’s family, and her community, and much of the collection draws on the experience of Rhiya’s grandparents – her Ba and Bapuji.
We asked Rhiya about her favourite poem in Routes, and she chose ‘Enough’, which paints a portrait of her grandmother, through her well-stocked kitchen cabinets:
My grandmother houses gods in her closet
among tower blocks of cereal boxes and canned
chickpeas so we may always know enough.
“Enough paints a portrait of my grandmother and her ability to be in two places at once. How she can know about the miners, the tower blocks, the Post Office – live in this country for fifty years and still not feel British enough. It’s about longing and belonging, the sacrifice of the mother tongue, and how even in the absence of language we find ways to love.
Over the past two years, I have been on my own migratory journey, trying to obtain a visa to live and work in the USA. This poem is a favourite of mine because it articulates an enduring sense of displacement that has only been amplified for me as I move back and forth between places.”
Watch Rhiya Pau reading Enough:
Routes will be published on 24 November 2022. You can pre-order your copy now.
Join us for a free event with Rhiya Pau and author Anna Fodorova at Forest Hill Library on Wednesday 23 November. Details and tickets.
This month we are delighted to be launching Rhiya Pau’s debut poetry collection, Routes, almost exactly a year since we published Rhiya’s first poem ‘Departure Lounge’ in our Where We Find Ourselves anthology.
Routes chronicles the migratory histories of Rhiya’s ancestors and explores the conflicts of identity that arise from being a member of the South Asian diaspora. Ahead of publication, we asked Rhiya about the inspiration behind the collection:
“In many ways, my grandfather has been the inspiration behind Routes. Bapuji was born in Kenya but moved to India in the 1940s to become a freedom fighter in the Independence movement. He participated in marches and sit-ins, and was laathi-charged several times by British soldiers for his disobedience. In one instance he was even shot in the leg. Later in life, after moving to the UK he was awarded Membership of the British Empire by the Queen for his community work, an accolade he was incredibly proud of. I created Routes as a space in which to document the migratory history of my family and community and explore the conflicts of identity that emerge. The release of this collection reflects on the fifty years since much of our community moved to the UK, following the expulsion of the Asians from Uganda.
My grandfather was a salt-march pilgrim
in a fleeting incarnation of this nation.
Now how do I wash the blood from his flag?
Bapuji is remembered as a bold and principled man, who was unafraid to stand by his convictions in the face of disapproval. He believed this to be a necessary act in service of societal progress. In Routes I hope to pay tribute to his legacy. It is only by examining our history that we can begin to answer – what is worth holding on to? What memories, what stories, what truths? When we piece these together, what is the narrative we choose to tell? And how are we going to address the silences that remain?“
Routes will be published on 24 November 2022. You can pre-order your copy now.
Join us for the in-person launch of Routes at Keats’ House on 24 November, from 6.30pm. Details and free tickets.
We have a little flurry of books arriving in October and November, and some events to launch them, mostly in person! We’d love you to join us.
25/10/2022 7pm Launch of In the Blood in discussion with writer and literary critic Jude Cook, with readings by actor Lisa Rose at the Embassy of the Czech Republic. Hosted by British Czech and Slovak Association, the Czech Embassy, the Czech Centre London and Lutyens & Rubinstein bookshop. [tickets £10]
01/11/2022 6.30pm a joint event at Keats House for How to be a Tarot Card (or a Teenager) and In the Blood with readings from actor Carrie Cohen free tickets
24/11/2022 6.30pm at Keats House Launch for Routes by Rhiya Pau.
29/11/2022 7.30pm In Words are helping us celebrate our 10th Anniversary and the launch of Routes by Rhiya Pau, with an online showcase of 4 of our recent poetry books: Routes, How to be a Tarot Card (or a Teenager), A Pocketful of Chalk and Paper Crusade. This will be on Zoom. To access, contact In Words.
Reviewers and Bookshops… we will be in touch shortly to offer you one or more of the following Advance reader copies. If you know you are not on our list and are interested, give us a shout. These are like gold dust, so first come first served!
How to be a Tarot Card, (or a Teenager) by Jennifer A McGowan, cover by Tom Charlesworth. (Poetry inspired by tarot and personal history)
In the Blood by Anna Fodorova, cover by Phil Barnett. (Novel: families, secrets, Holocaust survivors, Czech revolution)
Routes by Rhiya Pau, cover by Suman Gujral (Poetry: Families, Partition, Ugandan Asians)
Routes explores the journeys taken by Rhiya Pau’s parents and grandparents across multiple countries to arrive in the UK. We are publishing the collection in November 2022, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Ugandan Asians in the UK.
Rhiya Pau is one of seven winners of this year’s Eric Gregory Award, given annually by the Society of Authors. Judged by Raymond Antrobus, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Sarah Howe, Gwyneth Lewis, Roger Robinson, and Joelle Taylor, the award is presented to a collection or collections of poems by poets under 30.
The judges said of Routes: ‘This is a collection in which routes and roots tug against one another: a family is scattered in the wake of India’s Partition; its children and grandchildren make new homes for themselves within a kaleidoscope of tongues. This is a work of humane intelligence, formal experiment and linguistic verve that promises much.’
Congratulations Rhiya – this is a daring collection that exhibits vast formal range and wrestles with language, narrative and memory. We’re excited to be publishing Routes.
Routes will be published on 24 November 2022. You can pre-order a copy now.
Any press enquiries, please email Saira Aspinall on firstname.lastname@example.org.