Yomi Sode is an award-winning Nigerian British writer. He is a recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021. His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse Camden and the Battersea Arts Centre.
In 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra, premiered on BBC Radio 3. In 2021, his play, and breathe… premiered at the Almeida Theatre to rave reviews. Yomi is a Complete Works alumnus and a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He is the founder of BoxedIn, First Five, The Daddy Diaries and mentorship programme 12 in 12.
Yomi joins us in the bookshop for his new poetry collection, Manorism, exploring family, survival, generational trauma and the complexities of belonging in 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 seventeenth-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 – adapted for the Almeida stage in June 2021 to glowing reviews from the Guardian, Time Out and others – 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. Join us for an evening of poetry and literary discussion from one of the most exciting poets of our moment.
Praise for Yomi Sode’s Manorism
‘Remarkable, textured … Yomi Sode is a beautiful storyteller’ Candice Carty-Williams
‘Vivid, beautiful and deeply moving’ Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP
‘Searing, shimmering, brilliant’ Yrsa Daley-Ward
‘A must for all lovers of poetry and its power’ Roger Robinson
‘Manorism is a classic’ Caleb Femi
‘A wonder of a collection’ Caleb Azumah Nelson
11th November 2022 - 7:00 pm