I Am Nobody’s Nigger by Dean Atta
Revolutionary, reflective and romantic, I Am Nobody’s Nigger is the powerful debut collection by one of the UK’s finest emerging poets. Exploring race, identity and sexuality, Dean Atta shares his perspective on family, friendship, relationships and London life, from riots to one-night stands. Longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2014’Go Dean Atta. Speak the truth. Tweet the truth. Upload it. Let it ring out over the digital domain and strike at the heart of the offline wireless and disconnected.’ Lemn Sissay ‘Dean Atta’s poetry is as honest as truth itself. He follows no trend; he seeks no favours … Beyond black, beyond white, beyond straight, beyond gay, so I say. Love your eyes over these words of truth. You will be uplifted.’ Benjamin Zephaniah ‘Righteous and forceful’ Peter Tatchell’I can do nothing but take my hat off to Dean Atta for speaking out, saying what he believed, and doing it so effectively and powerfully that countless people heard it who would never normally have done so. Poetry is a powerful tool, and I Am Nobody’s Nigger is a perfect example of when that tool shows its full strength.’ Huffington Post’ Huffington Post ‘Raconteur Dean Atta doing what he does best; articulating London’s dark, deep-rooted social cancers through a beautiful and intricately personal narrative.’ Clash
Powerful, honest, raw and inspirational. Just a few of the words I would use to summarise the poetry of Dean Atta.
Dean Atta moves around various social and political issues within his various poems. From the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the usage of racial terminology. To the plight of fatherless children or homeless people. He clearly is a very deep and thoughtful poet.
“Please listen when I speak
How many homeless you seen this week?”
There is a poem titled ‘Young, Black And Gay’ where Dean Atta makes it abundantly clear he is not going to apologise for who he is. This is a quality I absolutely love in an author. It was one of the qualities I admired in Paul Beatty’s Manbooker winning novel The Sellout. Dean Atta has a talented mind!
In the poem Fatherless Nation, he addresses the issue of abandoned children and how it in-turn effects the next generation to come.
With the poem Therapy, it is almost as if he is speaking to you, through the pages.
“I can speak against injustice
from a stage or on a page
I’m a poet not a politician
But I canvas for your vote
With these words I wrote”
Each new poem, has a new theme. His opinion on the London riots in Smash And Grab, questions the motives behind the behaviour, what we all saw unfold.
“it’s no wonder no one looted the libraries”
I had several favourites from the collection. Key To The City is emotional and brutally honest. Rome is Eternal, speaks of love and personal connections.
Fragmented, is just pure perfection.
“I send envelopes of hope
addressed to our tomorrow”
A deep-thinking poet, with an intelligent mind and open eyes. I’d love to buy him a cup of coffee and listen to his spoken word performances.
If Dean Atta was a politician, he’d get my vote 5*