Please join us to celebrate the launch of Chris Beckett's new poetry collection, Tenderfoot. Hosting the reading will be poet and broadcaster, Daljit Nagra, joining Chris to discuss the new work. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will also be showing extracts of the text during the reading so that you can read along.
A Tenderfoot is a novice, someone unaccustomed to hardship. Here, he is a white boy growing up in 1960s Ethiopia, a place he loves even as he learns his own privilege and foreignness. Later he hears rumours of a famine in the mountains and imagines a boy his own age living through it, surviving on angry couplets. Years after, he sees this famine-boy grown up and questions him. A sequel to Ethiopia Boy, Beckett's celebrated first Carcanet collection, Tenderfoot teems with praise-shouts for Asfaw the cook, for the boys living as minibus conductors or chewing-gum sellers, even for Tenderfoot's own stomach that hangs 'like a leopard in a thorn acacia tree'. Featuring storms and droughts, hunger and desire, donkeys who quote Samuel Johnson and a red bicycle that invites you on a poem tour of Addis Ababa, Tenderfoot takes in what is happening around but also inside the boy's mind and body - a human transformation.
Chris Beckett has published three previous collections and is co-editor and translator of the first ever anthology of Ethiopian Amharic poetry in English, Songs We Learn from Trees (Carcanet, 2020). He is a trustee of the Poetry Society and the Anglo-Ethiopian Society.
Daljit Nagra is a British poet of Sikh Punjabi heritage, published by Faber. He was appointed BBC Radio 4’s first ever Poet in Residence and currently presents Poetry Extra on BBC Radio 4 Extra.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.