A powerful collection of new and recently completed poems by Ben Okri covering topics of the day, such as the refugee crisis, racism, Obama, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Corona outbreak.
In our times of crisis
The mind has its powers
This book brings together many of Ben Okri's most acclaimed and politically charged poems.
Some of them, like 'Grenfell Tower, June 2017', are already familiar. Published in the Financial Times less than ten days after the fire, it was played more than 6 million times on Channel 4's Facebook page, and was retweeted by thousands on Twitter.
'Notre-Dame is Telling Us Something' was first read on BBC Radio 4, in the aftermath of the cathedral's near destruction. It spoke eloquently of the despair that was felt around the world.
In 'shaved head poem', Ben Okri wrote of the confusion and anxiety felt as the world grappled with a health crisis unprecedented in our times.
'Breathing the Light' was his response to the events of summer 2020, when a black man died beneath the knee of a white policeman, a tragedy sparking a movement for change.
These poems, and others including poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barack Obama, Amnesty and more, make this a uniquely powerful collection that blends anger and tenderness with Ben Okri's inimitable vision.
'Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three – literature, culture and vision – are profoundly interwoven' Ali Smith.
'Where fiction's master of enchantments stares down a real horror, and without blinking or flinching, produces a work of beauty, grace and uncommon power' Marlon James on The Freedom Artist