Corsair Poetry has signed Peach Pig, the first collection from Young People’s Laureate for London Cecilia Knapp.
Editorial director Sarah Castleton, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Becky Thomas in her first deal closed at the Lewinsohn Literary Agency. Corsair will publish Peach Pig in 2022.
“The poems in Peach Pig trace a young girl growing up in a seaside town caring for her terminally ill mother, and eventually moving away to London as a young woman, carrying terrible grief, guilt and anxiety alongside abundant creativity, tenderness and desire,” Corsair said. “The collection also explores mental health and addiction within a family and attempts to find a language for the unique and complicated experience of traversing this. Candid and unflinching, Peach Pig grapples with the insecurities inflicted by a woman’s past, by the current moment and by a life deeply affected by grief – but it is also full of hope, wry mischief and persistence.”
Knapp is currently the Young People’s Laureate for London and her debut novel, Little Boxes, was bought last year by The Borough Press. She is also curating a poetry anthology, Everything is Going to be All Right: Poems for When You Really Need Them, for Trapeze.
A performer and educator, she was also shortlisted for the 2020 Rebecca Swift Women Poets' Prize and the 2020 Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. She will be a guest on BBC Radio 4’s “Poetry Please” on 27th June.
She commented: “Peach Pig feels like a culmination of my whole life really. I’ve been writing it in some way or another for the longest time. It’s been a place for my uncertainties, my grief, my anger, my shame. I am beyond thrilled that it’s time to share these poems, that this book has found its home and among so many exciting authors. What an honour! Thank you to Sarah at Corsair for really seeing this work. I can’t wait for the pig to be out amongst the world.”
Castleton said: “Cecilia is an inspiration. She talks about loss and still her poems sing with gratitude and are offered as gifts; she writes about vulnerability and still the pulse of her poetry beats strong and resonates outwards. Her work as laureate, as well as with Great Ormond Street, the Roundhouse and as an ambassador for the mental health charity CALM, further demonstrates her unique talent for and commitment to connecting young people with poetry, amplifying voices that aren’t often heard and encouraging conversation around challenging experiences.”