Praise and Poems
My name ain’t Abdullah
My name ain’t Abdullah, I got through the first test,
But now I’ve got Mr Charlie rolling his eyes behind his specs,
My name ain’t Mustafa, I got on the short-list,
But now I’ve got this a-hole kissing his teeth behind his lips,
I can’t believe, I got a haircut for this,
I can’t believe, I actually got my hair cut for this,
My mum should’ve called me Kunta Kinte, been an Afrocentrist,
To save myself of this d-head sneering at me behind his desk,
I should’ve called myself Kevin X, and had my application trashed,
But righteous anger rarely helps, when you’re tryna raise some cash.
Kev Inn’s debut pamphlet Adventures in Racial Capitalism is an exuberant, raging, satirical exploration of mixed-race experience in 21st century Britain, but with a keen and critical eye on historical misdemeanour and the contemporary globalised world. The poems are both restrained and bombastic, playful and deadly serious, sometimes swaggering with their own linguistic wit. This is a very exciting introduction to a writer I already want to hear more from. – Hannah Lowe, Forward Prize shortlistee for Chick (2013)
With its mixture of mischief, irony, and opposition to Capitalism’s continuing depredation against ethnic minorities, Kev Inn’s Adventures In Racial Capitalism is a startling debut. The author blends street slang, academic subheadings, calligrammes, and a poetic language forged from both the ‘Imperial lexicon’ and a desire to honour the dialect of the tribe. His poem in memory of his grandmother is particularly well-done. But what I like most is Kev Inn’s head-on confrontation with the daily indignities of racism, which he highlights with skill and dry humour. His work looks to John Agard, Gil Scott Heron, and Claudia Rankine for direction and inspiration, whilst retaining his own unique voice. Some poets tell truth to power, some fight the power; Kev Inn is out to subvert the power. – John O’Donoghue, author of Sectioned: A Life Interrupted, Brunch Poems, and Fools & Mad.