Yomi Ṣode in conversation with Aniefiok Ekpoudom about his debut collection, MANORISM
Impassioned, insightful, electric, MANORISM is a poetic examination of the lives of Black British men and boys: propped up and hemmed in by contemporary masculinity, deepened by family, misrepresented in the media, and complicated by the riches, and the costs, of belonging and inheritance. It is also an exploration of the differences of impunity afforded to white and Black people, and to white and Black artists.
Caravaggio – originally, unexpectedly – looms large: as a man who moved between spheres of exalted patronage and petty criminality; as a painter who, amid the elegant conventions of late Mannerism, forged his own style of visceral dark and light; and as an individual whose recognized genius was allowed to legitimate and excuse his violence.
In this profound and moving debut, Yomi Ṣode asks: what does it mean to find oneself between worlds – to ‘code-switch’, adapting one’s speech and manners to widely differing cultural contexts? Who is, and who isn’t, allowed to be more than their origins? And what do we owe each other? What do we owe ourselves?
Yomi Ṣode is an award-winning Nigerian British writer. He is a recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021. His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse Camden and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra, premiered on BBC Radio 3. In 2021, his play, and breathe… premiered at the Almeida Theatre to rave reviews.
Aniefiok ‘Neef’ Ekpoudom is an award-winning writer from South London who documents & explores culture in Britain. In his work, Aniefiok tells stories about the people, voices and communities shaping the country as it exists today. He writes, and has written for, The Guardian, British GQ, Vogue and more. Elsewhere he works, and has worked with, YouTube, Netflix, Google, GRM Daily, Nike, adidas and more on a range of documentary projects and creative campaigns.
He has contributed essays to the books Safe: 20 Ways to be a Black Man in Britain Today with Orion Books, as well as #Merky Books / Penguin titles Keisha The Sket (2021) and A New Formation: How Black Players Shaped The Modern Game (2022).
His first book Where We Come From is a social history of British Rap and will be released via Faber & Faber in 2023.