Author(s): Kayo Chingonyi
*AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4 AND RADIO 6 MUSIC**FINANCIAL TIMES SUMMER PICK 2017**GUARDIAN BEST HOLIDAY READS 2017* 'A brilliant debut - a tender, nostalgic and at times darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief - from one of my favourite writers' - Warsan Shire Translating as 'initiation', kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. The poems of Kayo Chingonyi's remarkable debut explore this passage- between two worlds, ancestral and contemporary; between the living and the dead; between the gulf of who he is and how he is perceived.Underpinned by a love of music, language and literature, here is a powerful exploration of race, identity and masculinity, celebrating what it means to be British and not British, all at once.
"A brilliant debut - a tender, nostalgic and, at times, darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief. A gorgeous and necessary collection from one of my favourite writers" -- Warsan Shire "[A] wonderful debut... A subtle and affecting, lyrical and powerful collection that explores boyhood, rites of passage, the ancient and the modern world" -- Jackie Kay * Observer * "Full of nostalgia and gentleness as well as being sharply observant" * Stylist * "Navigating the experience of growing up with music, flair and a jaw-dropping formal range, this collection is a thing of beauty" -- Maria Crawford * Financial Times * "Chingonyi's poems are full of questions that need asking. His gift is for pushing poems further than you expected them to go. [A] striking quest of a debut" -- Poetry Book of the Month, Kate Kellaway * Observer * "Powerful... These poems are essential and urgent and shine a light on British culture in an unique and spellbinding way" * Elle, `10 'Woke' Works Of Literature You Need To Add To Your Reading List This Year' * "Kumakanda is an essential collection from one of the UK's most exciting poets. Kayo's poetry is beautiful, thoughtful, musical and nostalgic" -- Nikesh Shukla "A wonderful debut: music, race, deracination, love and death are all woven into a compelling portrait of a young man growing up, rendered in poems that are elegant yet conversational, fluent yet profoundly skillful, touched with heart-stopping lyricism. For the reader, an initiation not to be missed" -- Henry Shukman "When James Baldwin described the writer's goal as stringing together sentences that were as clean as a bone, he wasn't to know that poet Kayo Chingonyi's debut collection Kumukanda would achieve exactly that" -- Rianna Jade Parker * Vice UK * "Exceedingly powerful; by turns furious, tender and bittersweet, taking as it does the overall theme of in-betweens. Ancestry versus contemporary rites of passage. The ambiguous versus the undeniable. Who you are, and who you choose to be seen as, versus who others perceive you to be" -- Clare Mulley * Skinny *
Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. He is the author of two pamphlets, and a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry. In 2012, he was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 2015.