Looking to get into poetry this summer? Articulations for Keeping the Light In by Barbican Young Poets is the anthology for you. Barbican has been coaching the freshest voices based in the UK and has compiled all their fab work from the last year into this release. Their first anthology since 2019, Articulations for Keeping the Light In, is being published by Flipped Eye publishing.
Your next summer read is here!
We had the absolute pleasure of an early sneak peek and chatting with two of the poets, Sarah McCreadie, self-proclaimed ‘lesbian heartthrob from Cardiff’(one of the coolest bios ever?!) and Abena Essah whose work focuses on the ‘intersections of their queer identity and Ghanaian heritage’. For many of the poets in this collection, this is their first publication, making it the prime spot to find the hottest new poets on the scene.
Sarah and Abena (per our greedy request) each summarised the anthology in one word as ‘fruity’ and ‘an excavation’ which really just says it all. This collection shows a wide range of human experiences and varying levels of emotional depths, particularly highlighting queer experiences as many of the poets themselves identify as queer.
Sarah made a brilliant point to us that ‘you don’t say “straight poet” it’s always queer/gay/lesbian poet’. Sarah’s poetry is ‘very gay’ (don’t look at us, she said it) but that’s what she knows so of course she’s going to write about the key parts of her life, whether that’s McDonalds or girls (we can confirm McDonalds does make an appearance in this anthology but you’ll have to read to find out how and why). Sarah’s style is strikingly ‘every day’ and modern with familiar imagery that feels comfortable but shifts your perspective like you’ve just stepped onto a ship.
‘You don’t say ‘straight poet’, it’s always ‘queer/gay/lesbian poet”
Abena also brought up how they felt overwhelmingly welcome at the Barbican sessions, and also expressed how they ‘got to see themselves reflected in others, in the many ways to exist as nonbinary.’ Doesn’t that just sound like pure queer euphoria? It’s safe to say this anthology is perfect for keeping the pride month celebrations rolling all summer. Abena’s piece ‘The Year of Return’ is a direct result of this beautiful environment, focusing on many areas of Abena’s human experiences – familial relationships, heritage, gender identity and so much more. It is a gorgeous and painful account of how generations interact.
The beauty of an anthology is the variety of styles, tones and subject choice. The striking contrast between Abena and Sarah’s voices is a testament to the versatility of Articulations for Keeping the Light In. Poems about self-discovery, heritage, romance and so much more are all included. Concrete poetry in funky shapes and even a poem tucked within a crossword are all included so there is definitely something for everyone.
Your new fave poet could be waiting for you in this anthology, so why are you letting them sit undiscovered? It’s out on the 14th July 2022 (tomorrow!) and when you do get your hands on it, make sure to come back and tell us which one you loved most! For even more reading suggestions, check out our recs for summer 2022 .
Team Nonchalant x