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The Actual (Paperback)
  • The Actual (Paperback)
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The Actual (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 80 Pages
Published: 05/10/2020
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Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021

The Actual is a symphony of personal and political fury-sometimes probing delicately, sometimes burning with raw energy.

In 55 poems that swerve and crackle with a rare music, Inua Ellams unleashes a full-throated assault on empire and its legacies of racism, injustice and toxic masculinity. Written on the author's phone, in transit, between meetings, before falling asleep and just after waking, this is poetry as polemic, as an act of resistance, but also as dream-vision.

At its heart, this book confronts the absolutism and 'foolish machismo' of hero culture-from Perseus to Trump, from Batman to Boko Haram. Through the thick gauze of history, these breathtaking poems look the world square in the face and ask, "What the actual-?".

Publisher: Penned in the Margins
ISBN: 9781908058782
Number of pages: 80
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'This is what poetry looks like when you have nothing to lose, when you speak from the heart, when you have spent years honing your craft so that you can be free. This is what poetry looks like when you are a word sorcerer, a linguistic swordsman, a metaphor-dazzler, a passionate creator of poetry as fire, as lament, as beauty, as reflection, as argument, as home. I was blown away by this book'- Bernardine Evaristo; 'This first collection is a masterclass in subtlety: poems that manage to be tender, angry, vulnerable, sad, funny, yearning and interrogating of history, both recent and long ago, all at once. It's a phenomenal piece of work about what it is to exist in this time, and his dissection of pop culture, colonialism, social interactions and the cruelty of the world, of men, of systems will be read and studied for years'.- Nikesh Shukla; Ellams' fiery new collection rails against the evils of the world: everything from Boko Haram to his father's aneurysm is attacked with passion and verve.'-The Telegraph;'The Actual bristles with energy. The square lyrics, prose-like in appearance, are consistently vivid, whether Ellams is taking on the biggest of subjects – Shakespeare, Trump, empire – or ruminating on quieter, more tender moments.'-Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian; 'The Actual is a heavy-hitting collection that is audacious and unrelenting in its topical preoccupation. Ellams is surgical in his writing and will leave you breathless.'- Caleb Femi, The Guardian

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“New Favourite Poetry”

Wow! This was beautiful. Definitely found some new favourite poetry! I loved the Barber Shop Chronicles NT production and definitely want to see Three Sisters.

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