In poems exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging, Manorism is an examination of the lives of Black British men and boys. At the heart of the book is the ongoing pressure of code-switching – changing one’s behaviour and language to suit radically different cultural contexts and environments. The violence of artists such as Caravaggio in 17th-century Rome, and modern-day commentary by the likes of David Starkey and Piers Morgan, provide a lens for considering differences of impunity afforded to white and Black people. Snippets of Yoruba interweave with English, and a moving final sequence, part poetry, part play, charts the dramatic reconciliations surrounding a death in the family. The result is a thrillingly original book that charts the vulnerabilities and rich nuances of Black masculinity in Britain.
Yomi has featured twice at Verve and it has been a pleasure to have him with us each time. Firstly he headlined at a very experimental version of Apples and Snakes Hit The Ode, and two years later he delivered our second Verve Poetry Performance Lecture in association with Poetry School. What an absolute treat that was!
Date: 5th May 2022
Extent: 96 pp