> Skip to content

Kayo Chingonyi

Book for an event

Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. He is the author of two pamphlets, and a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry. In 2012, he was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and was Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 2015. His first full-length collection, Kumukanda, won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Poetry Collection Prize, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Jhalak Prize. Kayo was a Burgess Fellow at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester, and an Associate Poet at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He has performed his work at festivals and events around the world, is Poetry Editor for The White Review, and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University.

Books by Kayo Chingonyi

A Blood Condition

Highly poignant and rich with dazzling language and exquisite imagery, A Blood Condition is stunningly crafted in Chingonyi’s authoritative, distinctive poetic voice. The poems touch on racial identity, religion and grief, music, youth and the power of names. The sequence about Nyaminyami, god of the Zambezi river, and its discussions of slavery and colonialism, man vs nature, is gut-punchingly powerful.

‘Kayo’s poetry is beautiful, thoughtful, musical and nostalgic’ Nikesh Shukla

‘Chingonyi’s poems are full of questions that need asking. His gift is for pushing poems further than you expected them to go’ Observer

‘Whether recalling his parents’ deaths or celebrating the art of the mixtape, Chingonyi’s poise is astonishing’ Daily Telegraph

Read more

A much-anticipated debut collection of beautifully crafted and powerful poems, from a writer of tremendous talent and promise

Read more