*Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2018*
*Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award 2018*
'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
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.
*Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize; Seamus Heaney Centre First Poetry Collection Prize; Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; Roehampton Poetry Prize; Jhalak Prize 2018*
A remarkable year for first collections. The best, for this reader, was Kayo Chingonyi’s Kumukanda… Whether recalling his parents’ deaths or celebrating the art of the mixtape, Chingonyi’s poise is astonishing
His poems are intelligent and moving and find the perfect balance between intricacy and directness
Chingonyi thrillingly integrates…rhythms and rhymes with more conventional poetic metrics…with a rare energy, intelligence and sophistication
[A] wonderful debut… A subtle and affecting, lyrical and powerful collection that explores boyhood, rites of passage, the ancient and the modern world