We are one lucky tribe! While our leaders experience their lost youth or just extend it by using politics as a game and people as toys to exert their tantrums, propensity for hierarchy and exclusion and silent propaganda to justify their self-entitlement within their mind-narrowing mandates and compromise justice to feed misplaced loyalties, our youth is showing maturity. While a new brand of celebrities promotes the latest surgeries, pump ups and make-up as the new faces of self-confidence and empowerment, our youth seeks deeper for true examples and guides to a more meaningful life.
They are swollen, like I once wrote and many times sang, bloated with the air they have been forced to swallow, the nonsense from many an adult, and they now burp it in the face of injustice and ugliness. They are not a majority but their number counts. It counts as every poet that contributed to NO DISCLAIMERS, the new book collection by Young Identity. They count as every idiosyncrasy they represent. How paradoxical it is that this is not a common burp but a breath of fresh air. They have turned the ugly and the sad into inspirational verb. That takes some depth, some gut reaching.
From the first sample of their work during the October 2017’s event entitled Cabaret of Freedom special Maya Angelou, I was a fan. But even the next event, Cabaret of Freedom special James Baldwin, only partially unveiled the talent in the group. It is at the book launch and with only a fraction of the talent there to read each their contributional ode that I truly realised the force with which we were to reckon.
It takes a mentor and a half to trust youth enough to give it the space to find and express themselves rather than force them into a predesigned path. Such a task could only be undertaken by an extraordinary person and Shirley May is such a lady. One of the directors of the Young Identity organisation, this facilitator is a published author in her own right, inspiring her community from youth to older generations for decades.
No Disclaimers refers to the expression used during the collective’s workshops to remind poets and listeners/readers alike that true emotion only find its voice in the raw honesty of its expression, gorged with individual style and crafty poetry, a sentiment that is hard for me not to share.
The poetry collection ‘No Disclaimers’ is a rainbow in many ways. Put a prism on and between the lines and it will betray the diversity that originality from individuality was bound to reveal. These authors are from every race gender, religion or absence of, sexual orientation and gender denomination or unlabelled, working or studying, disabled and neurodiverse, every single one dripping humanity and texture. They welcome us to no longer confuse harmony and homogeneity. They are the beautiful sign of hope after each rain of distracting verbal nonsense and often propagated. And there are more good news. This is only volume 1 of the series.
These professional poets redefine Identity. It is no longer a made-up, faked, persona to bend with the tide. It is a creative instrument and conveyor of original perspectives and mindbending styles.
From Roma Havers to Joel Cordingley (in the reading order at the 11th of December launch), every single read is a must, an individual journey of a perspective from the corner into the light.