Still looking for some holiday reads ahead of Greenbelt? Church House Bookshop, who run G-Books, our onsite bookshop at the festival, have a few more suggestions and offers for you…
Don’t Touch My Hair
“Our hair continues to be a space in which the fault lines between an imposed European system and black bodies’ resistance to that system are exposed.”
This meticulously researched and wide-ranging book is rooted in Emma’s experience, starting out from her early years in 1980s Dublin. She takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to the Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. A powerful unpacking of black hair’s position in oppression and liberation: ‘never “just hair”’.
The inimitable Wendy Cope’s first collection of new poetry since 2011’s Family Values. These characteristically evocative and entertaining poems, composed with brilliant economy of language, include her work as the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Writer-in-Residence. A perfect fit for this year’s Greenbelt theme, she is (as Rowan Williams puts it) “without a doubt the wittiest of contemporary English poets, and says a lot of extremely serious things”.
A Kingdom of Love
Rachel Mann’s visceral, intimate lyric poetry collection is worth getting hold of when it’s published this summer, when you’ll have more time to sit with it and let it sink in. The title is taken from the first of its three sections, the following two named ‘Mythologies’ and ‘A Lesson in Evolution’. Each set of poems has a unique impulse, but the collection works beautifully as a whole, drawn together by the clarity of her poetic voice. Cut through with snatches of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, these poems are questioning, direct, and demand to be heard.
Not out yet – pick it up in the G-Books tent onsite!
When the environmentalist and writer Bob Gilbert moved to Poplar, in the East End of London, he began to record the natural world around him. He came to know the trees that have helped to shape Poplar: their history, stories, their relationship with the people living among them. This warm and uplifting book is dedicated to the people of the parish of Poplar and lays out the urban experience of nature in the everyday.
A vital and unflinching historical fiction novel. It’s 1910 and Philadelphia is burning. Spring, an emancipated slave, is forced to relive a haunting past in order to lead her dying son home. This stunning debut has drawn comparisons with Toni Morrison’s Beloved and was longlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.
By Way of the Heart
Mark Oakley’s hugely popular The Splash of Words lit up the ways in which poetry and faith are partners. His next book, By Way of the Heart, contains 40 reflections shaped by his conviction in language’s power, and told with his talent for communication. Dip into this book and be taken through the year with stories, insights and challenges.
Not out yet – pick it up in the G-Books tent onsite or pre-order it online here.