Penguin are delighted to offer secondary schools and colleges the opportunity to have author Caleb Femi visit, with his first book, Poor.
Lyrical, heartbreaking and hopeful, the Peckham poet's debut collection exploring the lives of young Black boys, and the architecture that shapes them.
What is it like to grow up in a place where the same police officer who told your primary school class they were special stops and searches you at 13 because 'you fit the description of a man' - and where it is possible to walk two and a half miles through an estate of 1,444 homes without ever touching the ground?
In Poor, Caleb Femi combines poetry and original photography to explore the trials, tribulations, dreams and joys of young Black boys in twenty-first century Peckham. He contemplates the ways in which they are informed by the built environment of concrete walls and gentrifying neighbourhoods that form their stage, writes a coded, near-mythical history of the personalities and sagas of his South London youth, and pays tribute to the rappers and artists who spoke to their lives.
Above all, this is a tribute to the world that shaped a poet, and to the people forging difficult lives and finding magic within it. As Femi writes in one of the final poems of this book: 'I have never loved anything the way I love the endz.'
Raised on the North Peckham estate in South London, Caleb Femi is a poet and director. He has written and directed short films for the BBC and Channel 4, and poems for Tate Modern, the Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC, the Guardian and more. He has been featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. From 2016 to 2018, he served as the Young People's Laureate for London. He recently wrote the liner material for Kano's 2019 album Hoodies All Summer. This is his first book.
In the interactive session, Caleb would share more about himself and his book (with some questions thrown out to keep the young people involved). This could then either act as a springboard for young people to complete a project on that theme (e.g. write a poem or short story that relays a magical story set against the backdrop of ordinary life within their own community) or they could complete the project ahead of time and share their work with the class and Caleb.
Author cost will be covered in return for you organising and facilitating book sales and providing any materials required for activities. This opportunity is available for schools and colleges.
Age group for visit: 13-18 year olds
The visits will take place in November and December.
You can pitch for this opportunity until 11 November 2020.