Home PageBook newsThe Emma Press acquires rights to poetry debut by Atangana Bekono

The Emma Press has snapped up the debut poetry collection of Dutch author Simone Atangana Bekono.

Publisher Emma Wright acquired UK and Irish rights for hoe de eerste vonken zichtbaar waren (how the first sparks became visible) from Kim van Kaam at Wintetuin Literary Agency. It will be published in January 2021.

hoe de eerste vonken zichtbaar waren is a collection of poems and letters produced by Atangana Bekono as part of her graduation project. The poems have been excerpted to form how the first sparks became visible, translated by David Colmer and published as part of the Emma Press Poetry Pamphlets series.

The poems explore race, gender and sexuality in nine breath-taking streams of consciousness. Each poem draws the reader in with its direct address and confessional tone, combining the personal with the political to great effect.

hoe de eerste vonken zichtbaar waren was first published by Wintertuin Uitgeverij in collaboration with Lebowski Publishers in 2017 and went on to win the Poëziedebuutprijs Aan Zee, for the best Dutch-language poetry debut. The translation and publication have been supported with a grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Wright said: “I am delighted to be publishing Simone’s collection. It’s a perfect fit for the Emma Press Poetry Pamphlets series, where we showcase unique voices and try bring them to wider audiences, ideally beyond the poetry-reading regulars. how the first sparks became visible is incredibly engaging and powerful, and a great example of how well-suited poetry is for exploring complex subjects.”

how the first sparks became visible
ISBN 978-1-912915-55-2 / 36 pages / 21 January 2021 / £6.50

For more information (requests for review copies, interviews with the author and/or translator) contact:
Emma Wright, Publisher, The Emma Press
Email: editor@theemmapress.com