William Collins signs 'visual poem' on Black Britain by Robinson and Pitts

William Collins signs 'visual poem' on Black Britain by Robinson and Pitts

William Collins has signed a “visual poem” about Black Britain by poet Roger Robinson and photographer Johny Pitts.

Editorial director Shoaib Rokadiya bought world all language rights to Home Is Not a Place from Nicola Griffiths and Suresh Ariaratnam at Sprung Sultan. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. 

The publisher said: “Combining photography, poetry and essays, Home Is Not a Place will offer a book-length reflection upon Black Britishness—its complexity, strength, resilience—at the start of a new decade. One hundred years since the Harlem Renaissance, it will document the astonishing creativity and incalculable manifestations of a new renaissance in Black British culture, uncovering stories, places and narratives that might otherwise be overlooked.

Rokadiya commented: “Here’s a project that overflows with creative possibility from two authors I’ve long held in high esteem. I feel supremely lucky to be publishing it at William Collins.”

Home Is Not a Place will mark the first book-length collaboration between the two award-winning writers. Johny Pitts, recently announced as the new co-host of BBC Radio 4’s “Open Book”, was awarded the 2020 Jhalak Prize and the 2021 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding for his debut book, Afropean (Penguin). Roger Robinson was awarded the T S Eliot Prize 2019 and the 2020 RSL Ondaatje Prize for his collection A Portable Paradise (Peepal Tree).  

Robinson said: “I’m incredibly excited to mine the liminal space between photography and the lyric but I’m even more excited to document facets of Black Britain with and through the eyes of a friend and fellow artist Johny Pitts."

Pitts added: “Having worked together everywhere from maximum security prisons in California, to universities in Finland, Home Is Not a Place is the blossoming of years of conversations around Black identity between Roger and I. Channeling these dialogues into a hybrid work about Britain is a journey I can’t wait to undertake.”