The Actual-Inua Ellams

You would expect series of poems, all starting with “fuck” to be furious. Of course, there is rage in these poems, especially in the multi-part “Fuck// Empire”, with its withering repetition and bluntly stated atrocities. But there’s also joy and beauty. I love the sequencing of this collection, how one poem feeds into the next one. It’s essential.

  • Poetry collection dealing with race, colonialism and history. It’s lyrical, angry and funny in places as well.
  • All of the poems start with “Fuck”. (hence the title) For example Fuck/The Mandela Effect. Ellams finds variety and different emotions in this one word, sometimes angry, sometimes resolute and sometimes joyful.
  • All the poems are linked together by subject or word, with one poem picking up on a phrase in the last poem or being related in some way. (This made me come up with the Relay Poem Exercise)
  • It’s a great example of using Constrained Writing to free up your writing.

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