Home Is Not A Place
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS
‘Beautiful, haunting, thought-provoking … A book I will return to again and again’ Bernardine Evaristo
A gorgeously produced, hugely original examination of Black Britishness in the 21st century
What is Black Britain?
In 2021, award-winning poet Roger Robinson and acclaimed photographer Johny Pitts rented a red Mini Cooper and decided to follow the coast clockwise in search of an answer to this question. Leaving London, they followed the River Thames east towards Tilbury, where the Empire Windrush docked in 1948. Too often, that is where the history told about Black Britain begins and ends – but Robinson and Pitts continued out of London, following the coast clockwise through Margate to Land’s End, Bristol to Blackpool, Glasgow to John O’Groats and Scarborough to Southend on Sea. Here, the authors found not only Black British culture long overlooked in official narratives of Britain, but also the history of Empire and transatlantic slavery to which every Briton is tethered.
Home Is Not a Place is the spectacular result of the journey they documented: a free-form composition of photography, poetry and essays that offers a book-length reflection upon Black Britishness – its complexity, strength and resilience – at the start of a new decade.
‘Masterful … A thing of brilliance’ Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
”’This beautiful, haunting, thought-provoking fusion of poetry and photography offers us layers of society, the self, the subconscious and Britishness from a Black perspective. It’s a book I will return to again and again” - Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other
’Home is Not a Place has echoes of The Sweet Flypaper of Life but to compare them would do this work a disservice. It is a thing of brilliance, with its own immersive energy, pulling the reader in and allowing them to wander around the world of Black Britain created on these pages. In the authors’ hands, the quotidian becomes transcendent. Robinson’s words are as careful as they are masterful; Pitt’s casual gaze is warm and conversational. This is a book I have been waiting for’ Caleb Azumah Nelson, Costa Book Award-winning author of Open Water -
”'Rich and evocative … Pitt’s photos capture the beauty of Black British culture” - Dazed
Praise for Afropean by Johny Pitts -
Winner of the Jhalak Prize -
'A revelation' Owen Jones -
'Afropean seizes the blur of contradictions that have obscured Europe's relationship with blackness and paints it into something new, confident and lyrical' Afua Hirsch -
A Guardian, New Statesman and BBC History Magazine Best Book of 2019 -
Praise for A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson -
WINNER OF THE TS ELIOT POETRY PRIZE 2019 -
WINNER OF THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2020 -
'Ranging from the most breath-taking poems about the Grenfell Tower fire to the most exquisitely moving poems about the premature birth of his son, who had to fight for his life in an incubator. His poems are deep, mature, moving and inventive.' Bernadine Evaristo for New Statesman -