> Skip to content
Play sample
  • Published: 21 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802061932
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $35.00

Manorism




Caravaggio and code-switching: the T. S. Eliot and Folio Prize-shortlisted poetry debut exploring Nigerian-British diaspora experience

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 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.

  • Published: 21 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802061932
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Yomi Sode

Yomi Sode is a Nigerian-British poet, playwright, facilitator and recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse's Last Word Festival and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2019 his essay 'The F Word' was featured in Safe: 20 Ways To Be A Black Man In Britain, and in 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and Chineke! Orchestra was lauded by BBC Radio 3 and the Guardian. He is a Complete Works alumnus, a member of Malika's Poetry Kitchen, and founder and co-host of BoxedIn, The Daddy Diaries and First Five via Instagram Live.

Praise for Manorism

A remarkable, textured education in what it means to be made up of different parts, of light and dark places, and of worlds that we know, and that we don't. Yomi Sode is a beautiful storyteller who pieces it all together

Candice Carty-Williams, author of PEOPLE PERSON

In his juxtapositions of paintings, black urban life and media, he makes us think of what poetry can be: that the book itself is the poem, and each topic a stanza in a bigger epiphany ... A must for all lovers of poetry and its power

Roger Robinson, author of A PORTABLE PARADISE

Searing, shimmering, brilliant. As hard to swallow as it is to put down.

Yrsa Daley-Ward, author of THE HOW

Manorism is filled with poetry of a breath held, a fist clenched and held behind the back, the knockout beckoning always. An ambitious and adventurous debut, brimming with heart

Nii Ayikwei Parkes, author of TAIL OF THE BLUE BIRD

Manorism is a wonder of a collection. Yomi writes into the space where silence has been enforced, with language so dexterous it sings, with an honesty that is as sure as it is vulnerable. Throughout the collection, he gives language to grief, acute and enormous. He speaks not only to the moments we might falter in the face of our mourning but also to how we might rebuild, how we might not only survive those who pass, but thrive. What a joy it is to hold these words

Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of OPEN WATER

The birth of a new poetic storyteller

Nick Makoha, author of THE DARK

The mandem, mourning, mores and manners - Yomi Sode's Manorism is a thrilling new world to inhabit. Tender, lyrical, questioning, fierce, these poems make you think about the world we live in and how we treat the black men in it . . . This is one of those books that comes along once in a generation and influences generations to come

Jackie Kay, author of RED DUST ROAD and former Makar of Scotland

Yomi Sode writes with clarity, anger and love. Manorism reminds me of the paintings of Caravaggio. Empathy and chiaroscuro. More shadow than light. But that is the way of the world

Andrew Graham-Dixon, author of CARAVAGGIO: A LIFE SACRED AND PROFANE

Vivid, beautiful and deeply moving. Yomi Sode is a gifted storyteller who pours everything into this sharp and brilliant exploration of Black British masculinity in all its complexity

Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP

I don't think I've ever read such a heartbreaking collection as this angry but deeply vulnerable and tender portrait of Black masculinity. Manorism rages, yet plays with its urgent themes, mixing Yoruba with colloquial speech in a luscious mix of registers and references, from Caravaggio to Mr Marcus, inventing new ways to describe generational trauma and what it's like to endure racism. This debut is the living heart and soul of contemporary poetry

Pascale Petit, author of TIGER GIRL

When I speak of justice and anger written with luminous genius, I will forever be speaking of Yomi Sode's Manorism, a glorious, furious collection that tells a thousand stories in stunningly crafted verse. A triumph that everyone should read

Nikita Gill, author of GREAT GODDESSES and WILD EMBERS

Manorism is a stunning debut collection. Yomi Sode's poems examine the various lenses observing the black body in Britain, the implications of its passage between class, cultural and racial spaces. His words are indelible . . . rich with images that shake your core and a sharpness in its technicality. Manorism is a classic

Caleb Femi, author of POOR

Manorism is a work of sincerity that cuts deep. It's a work that is at once comprehensive and incredibly personal. Reading it I felt my heartbeat change pace, faster and slower. The book is about families, society, being Black in Britain, being a cousin, a nephew, a son and the hope for the future that being a father brings. Yomi is a griot, a voice in which we can hear the ancestors, a voice for now and a prophet of future possibilities

Arike Oke, Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections, BFI

This is a such an important collection. Yomi Sode's debut articulates the most subtle nuances of Black British Masculinity with a breathtaking vulnerability. Truly, Manorism is something new - an interrogation of realities that have been too often ignored, through the lens of experiences that have been pushed into the margins . . . [It] bring[s] the full humanity of Blackness into the centre, through poetry that pushes at boundaries while inviting you in

Jeffrey Boakye, author of I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID and BLACK, LISTED

Manorism. A Black British Diasporic way of being. A sense of place. A posture . . . Yomi Sode interrogates this sociocultural phenomenon, looking at masculinity, intergenerational violence and historical legacy . . . This is a British continuation of the conversation Claudia Rankine started . . . These are necessary poems: poems as prayer songs, poems as testimony

Malika Booker, author of PEPPER SEED

A brilliant ode to the mandem

Femi Oyeniran

Yomi is not ramping. This is a rich, nuanced, emotional collection. I read about myself and my people, felt an affinity in the expression of experiences we share and felt feelings only we feel. Thank you for this, Yomi

Jade LB, author of KEISHA THE SKET

Both sharp-eyed and rich with complex feeling, Manorism is an exquisite collection

Nadia Owusu, author of AFTERSHOCKS

Part-confession, part-conjuring and wholly unique, Yomi Sode's debut collection is unflinching. As he writes, "Our stories are open wounds." ?ode takes us on a visceral journey, spilling secrets nakedly, not allowing us to look away from the hard truth. And we're better for it

Peter Kahn, author of LITTLE KINGS

An incredibly poignant and layered collection that masterfully graduates from the past, roots us in the present and speaks to the ages all at once. Manorism is a striking, visceral voyage between cultures, languages and histories in ode to the precious lives of Black boys and men

Sofia Akel

I think one day, Yomi Sode's Manorism will be required reading for a generation of young Black men. [This book is h]is widescreen and expansive examination of what it's like to navigate the complexities of British society as a Black man. From the moments of triumph to those of bleak loss, Sode brings poetic brilliance to the collection's entire range of subject matter

Athian Akec, Youth MP for Camden

A breathtaking and tender exploration of Black boyhood, manhood, fatherhood and grief

Aniefiok Ekpoudom

A work of formal experimentation, where lyric essays nestle against play-let structures, in service of a Claudia Rankine-esque determination to bear witness and find frameworks with which we can look at the world properly, fully ... Brilliant ... It's like fireworks going off ... Sode is unflinching and fearless ... Manorism's real gift to us as readers is, ultimately, Sode's deep and unfailing humanity. This is a book in which love can be found

Rishi Dastidar, Poetry School Blog

Yomi Sode's Manorism has both its feet planted firmly on the ground - but as a collection, it spends much of its existence split between various opposing worlds of imagination: Black and white, past and present, peaceful and chaotic . . . It forces readers to question what violence we consider beautiful, which victims worthy of framing and hanging on a white wall? . . . Manorism cuts to the quick, openly daring readers to look at the blood spilled within its pages . . . [It] gleams like a whittled blade

Ariana Benson, Magma Poetry