Walker Books has acquired the debut poetry collection from Gambian British performance poet Sophia Thakur.
Thakur’s poems will explore the emotions of being a young woman and getting through puberty, heartbreak, university, fear, joy and more. The collection is inspired by being a mixed heritage girl growing up in London and will encompass the experiences of being a female, an ethnic female, and a female with great ambition.
Publishing director Jane Winterbotham acquired world rights for one book directly from the author.
Winterbotham said: “Sophia is an extraordinary young talent. She writes with honesty, passion and an emotional understanding that speaks directly to her audience. This powerful collection of poems lays bare emotions that will resonate with all her readers. I’m delighted she has brought her first collection to Walker Books.”
Thakur said: “This is the collection that the young me needed to read, to feel less alone, less scared, more confident and more inspired. Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far, this is literally the beginning of a brand new journey for me and I’m stoked about it. I’ll be documenting the entire process so please, come on this walk with me.”
Thakur won her first poetry award at 18. Since then she has performed at Glastonbury, international conferences, and given multiple TED talks. She is a youth ambassador for the betterment of young black girls, and has worked with charities including Cancer Research UK, and with brands such as MTV, Samsung and Nike. Thakur also worked with Walker Books in 2017 to create a piece of poetry inspired by The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker) called "Poetry for the Mandem".
The collection is slated for October 2019.