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The Kids


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Table of Contents

8 The White Dog I 11 The Register 12 Try, Try, Try Again 13 Queen Bee 14 The Art of Teaching I 15 The Art of Teaching II 16 The Art of Teaching III 17 Technology 18 Sonnet for Vlad 19 The Only English Kid 20 Notes on a Scandal 21 Boy 22 Simile 23 The Sixth-form Theatre Trip 24 Sonnet for the A Level English Literature and Language Poetry Syllabus 25 Red-handed 26 Sonnet for the Punched Pocket 27 Pepys 28 Janine I 29 Janine II 30 The Unretained 31 All Over It 32 Sonnet for Rosie 33 Something Sweet 34 7/7 35 Ricochet 36 British-born II 38 Mr Presley 39 Mrs Vanuka 40 Blocks 41 She 42 Bethena 43 Etudier 44 Martin and Pam 45 The Only Black Girl 46 Rain Dance 47 The Pitch 48 John I: Pink Humming Bird 49 John II: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf 50 Love 51 So Amazing 52 The Stroke 55 Sonnet for Noah 56 Welling 57 Dear Professor 58 White Roses 59 Daughter 60 House 61 The River 62 Players III 64 The Sky Is Snowing 65 Skirting 66 Scooting 67 Fire Scissors Drowning 68 The Size of Him 69 Sonnet for Boredom 70 Balloons 71 In H&M 72 Sonnet for Darren 73 Zoom 74 Aretha in the Bath 75 His Books 76 Anjali Mudra 77 Sonnet for Rory with Soap Bubbles 78 Ni hao 79 Kathy, Carla

About the Author

Hannah Lowe was born in Ilford to an English mother and Jamaican-Chinese father. She has lived in London, Brighton and Santa Cruz, California. She studied American Literature at the University of Sussex and has a Masters degree in Refugee Studies, and a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She has worked as a teacher of literature, and is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University. She has been poet in residence at Keats House, and in 2020 she received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors. Her pamphlet The Hitcher (The Rialto, 2011) was widely praised. Her first book-length collection Chick (Bloodaxe Books, 2013) won the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry, and was selected for the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation Poets 2014 promotion. This was followed by two pamphlets, R x (sine wave peak, 2013) and Ormonde (Hercules Editions, 2014), and her family memoir Long Time No See (Periscope, 2015). She also read from Long Time, No See on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week in 2015. Her second full-length collection, Chan, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016, followed by a pamphlet, The Neighbourhood (Out-Spoken Press) in 2019. Her third full collection, The Kids (Bloodaxe Books, 2021), was the Poetry Book Society Choice for Autumn 2021. It won the 2021 Costa Poetry Award and went on to be named Costa Book of the Year, and was also shortlisted for the 2021 T.S. Eliot Prize.


Hannah Lowe's The Kids is a book to fall in love with - it's joyous, it's warm and it's completely universal. It's crafted and skilful but also accessible... You will love it! -- Reeta Chakrabarti * Chair of Judges, 2021 Costa Book of the Year *
A contemporary book that buzzes with life while re-energising the sonnet that Shakespeare would recognise. All readers will find something of themselves here. -- Costa Poetry Award Judges Rishi Dastidar, Ian Duhig and Maya Jaggi
Hannah Lowe's brilliant and entertaining book of sonnets, The Kids, is one of the most humorous and tender collections of recent times. -- Sean Hewitt * The Irish Times (The year in verse: the best poetry of 2021) *
Hannah Lowe's The Kids, inspired by her time teaching in an inner London sixth form, is a series of sonnets full of joy. The book is generous in its compassion, and in love with the idea of learning, in the classroom and outside it. -- Rishi Dastidar * The Guardian (Best poetry books of 2021) *
Hannah Lowe's previous two collections, Chick and Chan, focused on her relationship with her Jamaican-Chinese father, alongside coming-of-age recollections. The Kids marks a departure: an introspective book of modern sonnets, it offers a glimpse into her experiences of teaching in an inner-city London sixth form. The collection includes homages to her own teachers, and concludes with a sequence lovingly written for her young son... This is a playful yet moving collection that will make the reader frown and laugh, sometimes both at once. -- Mary Jean Chan * The Guardian, best recent poetry *
The poems in The Kids fizz and chat with all the vitality and longing of the classes they conjure. Funny, moving, sometimes painful and always questioning, they capture teachers and their students learning life from each other in profound and unexpected ways. A joy to read. -- Liz Berry
These sequences of stories are a refreshing update to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and To Sir with Love. Each of Lowe's sonnets is a blackboard chalked with the tales of earnest teachers, of cheeky and lovable students, of being mentored to become a poet and of motherhood and learning to instruct again. Lowe makes the sonnet exciting for our age through its urgent, its compassionate, its wonderfully humorous address of the personal and the social. -- Daljit Nagra
Always, we are in the hands of Lowe's singular, effortless voice, and reminded that all good education should be an education in class, in the legacies and histories of empire and in the self. -- Andrew McMillan * Poetry Book Society Bulletin *

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