Caleb Femi: Poet of the Poor
'Caleb Femi is a gift to us all from the storytelling gods,' says fellow writer Max Porter. Femi’s exuberant words and talent saw him named as the first Young People’s Laureate for London in 2016, following his 2015 win at the Roundhouse Poetry Slam.
Now his debut collection, Poor, has been called ‘a landmark debut for British poetry’. Interspersed with Femi’s own Black and white photography – a celebration of his community – the book is a portrait of true life: the threats, surveillance and over-policing that is disproportionately wielded against Black communities, but also the unrelenting joy and imagination of the young Black men.
Join Femi as he talks about community, photography, and why poetry is ‘the art of the people’.
In Poor, his first poetry collection, Caleb Femi gives the reader a snapshot of growing up Black, male and poor on a North Peckham housing estate.
Part speaking truth to power, part love letter to his home Femi described the collection as ‘an ode to a troubled yet enchanted world, and the Black boys raised in it’.