Search

Former Barking schoolboy in running for 2017 Costa Book Awards

PUBLISHED: 12:25 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:25 28 November 2017

Kayo Chingonyi. Picture: Naomi Woddis

Kayo Chingonyi. Picture: Naomi Woddis

Naomi Woddis

A former pupil at Robert Clack School has been shortlisted for a major literary award.

Kayo Chingonyi, 30, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award for his debut collection Kumukanda.

“Energetic, skilled, tender and bold – this is an outstanding collection by a major new talent,” said judges.

Zambian-born Kayo moved to the UK at the age of six.

His love of unpicking poetry to relish in its messages and meanings was evident during his time at the Gosfield Road, Dagenham school.

“Not only did he love literature but he had a perceptive and sensitive understanding of language,” said one of his former English teachers.

He left Robert Clack Sixth Form in 2005, going on to deliver lectures and readings at venues around the world.

In 2012 he represented Zambia at Poetry Parnassus, a festival of world poets staged by the Southbank Centre as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and the same year received the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.

Three years later, he served as Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

Race, music, masculinity and grief are common themes in his work.

Kumukanda (meaning ‘initiation’), for example, takes its name from the rites of passage a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man.

The collection includes Self-Portrait as a Garage Emcee, in which he remembers his childhood practising rap lyrics “under his breath” at night: “In time, I could rattle off The Slim Shady LP line for line, / though no amount of practise could conjure the pale skin / and blue eyes that made Marshall a poet / and me another brother who could rhyme.”

Poet Jane Draycott, who judged the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize the year Kayo won, said: “His language is wonderfully searching, his imagery a series of small doors opening onto a whole house echoing with harmonic play and set with delicate rhythmic trip wires.”

Kayo is the author of two pamphlets, Some Bright Elegance (2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream (2016).

Winners of the Costa Book Awards will be announced on January 2.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Barking and Dagenham Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Barking and Dagenham Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Barking and Dagenham Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

10:00

National League outfit on the lookout for a new manager after John Still left last week

A school in Dagenham celebrated the royal wedding in an unusual way - by staging a simulation with lookalike teachers in front of pupils, parents and teachers.

08:54

Police are appealing for witnesses to the murder of Abrabhman Juma to come forward.

08:15

A mother who was involved in a car crash while driving with her children on board has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving and dangerous driving.

Yesterday, 19:00

The number of pupils referred by their schools to Barking and Dagenham’s mental health trust has risen by over a third since 2014.

Yesterday, 18:33

Gareth Roderick posted a superb 87 not out as Gloucestershire chased successfully to beat Essex by four wickets in Bristol and register their second victory in three days in the Royal London One-Day Cup South Group.

Yesterday, 16:00

Two students at Barking and Dagenham College were named among the best in their borough last night.

Yesterday, 10:12

Lakeside Hammers maintained their immaculate home record with a comfortbale win over Edinburgh at Purfleet on Saturday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now