Split screen view of poet Kayo Chingonyi on the left, and interviewer Chelsea Haith on the right.

Kayo Chingonyi on Nation, Blood, and Poetic Form

Interview by Chelsea Haith

In his second collection, A Blood Condition (2021), Kayo Chingonyi presents a voice wise and weary beyond his years. Nominated for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Collection alongside poets such as Selima Hill and Stephen Sexton, this new work testifies to the depth of Chingonyi’s engagement with history, embodiment, loss, and power. The collection is distinguished by its generic range, comprising prose poems and lyrics, and mingling introspections on grief with the vital aesthetic joy of his first love: rap.

In this interview, Chingonyi explores the formal and thematic concerns of his work, revealing his own personal negotiations with loss and life as he discusses his choices of form and content, and the demands of structure in his work.

The interview ends with a reading of ‘Chingola Road Cemetery’ from the new collection.

Writers Makes Worlds and Chelsea Haith thank Kayo Chingonyi for his time and generosity in granting this interview.

Cite this: “Kayo Chingonyi on Nation, Blood, and Poetic Form.” Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, 2021, https://writersmakeworlds.com/video-kayo-chingonyi-a-blood-condition. Accessed 31 January 2022.