Last year, I pre-ordered two debut poetry collections: The Sobbing School by fellow Marshall Scholar Joshua Bennett and The Knowledge Weapon by the winner of Bare Fiction’s Debut Poetry Collection Competition, Annette C. Boehm.
I was desperate to read these collections so I ordered them the first chance I got. Then I waited, full of the kind of joy and anticipation a child might feel before going to a theme park, opening a new set of Legos, or getting a shiny piece of chocolate fudge cake. But soon, life flooded forward and I, eventually, forgot that I’d ordered them.
So, imagine my delight when, many months later, these two books were posted through my letter box. Immediately, my love of new poetry and my pinpointed excitement to read these prize-winning collections was reignited.
With one quick click, I had set up a system where I could surprise myself with poems – what could be better? And, these weren’t just any poems. They were great poems- I would recommend reading both collections. Joshua’s is moving and significant. By including public figures as well as his own family, he opens up new conversations about black history and the black experience. Annette’s collection is surprising – full of unexpected images and dynamic poetic choices. It manages to interweave a sense of playfulness and seriousness with ease.
Now, I am in a position I never imagined for myself, on the other side. My own debut collection, More than you were, is now available for pre-order on the Parthian Books website. I can only hope my poems – which I started writing back in 2013 after my father died – will be received with excitement and anticipation by others.
If you are interested in learning more about the collection or ordering one for yourself, you can do so here. Thank you, as always, for reading and Happy World Book Day!