Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of We Have Everything We Need to Start Again, a groundbreaking free-verse poetry collection for young people from exceptional emerging talent Koleka Putuma, beautifully illustrated by Adriana Bellet.
Ella Whiddett, commissioning editor at Hot Key Books, acquired world rights from Manyano Media.
The collection will empower and uplift readers, with poems to affirm and provide a positive outlook on a wide range of themes and coming-of-age experiences, including mental health, sexuality, gender, climate change and identity.
Koleka Putuma said: ‘Creating this collection with Hot Key has been a dream come true for me. I’m thrilled to present this work, which I hope will act as a mirror and companion, holding the reader’s hand as they navigate transitions, questions and discoveries.’
Adriana Bellet said: ‘It is an honour to be any small part of Koleka Putuma’s work. In today’s world and state of things, it’s all too easy to fall into darkness and negativity, but Koleka reminds us that it’s through hope and human kinship that change happens. Koleka’s message of positivity, determination and strength for the next generation is one that I feel lucky to be able to add my brushstrokes to!’
Ella Whiddett, commissioning editor at Hot Key Books, said: ‘It has been the most incredible editorial experience to work on such a trailblazing collection of poetry that will mean so much to so many readers. Every time I return to the writing, I’m struck anew by how sharp and thought-provoking Koleka’s verse is, how unique in its form, language and structure. Every line, every word, is a powerful statement of what she, and the next generation, stand for. It’s a call to protest, a call to love, a call to hope.’
Koleka Putuma is an award-winning South African theatre practitioner, writer and poet. Her bestselling debut poetry collection, Collective Amnesia, received the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, was named Book of the Year by the City Press and one of the best books of 2017 by The Sunday Times and Quartz Africa. Her work tackles themes such as sexuality, gender, race and politics. In 2022, Putuma was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for poetry. She is also the founder and director of Manyano Media, a multidisciplinary creative company that empowers and produces stories by black queer women. She lives in Cape Town and can be found at https://www.kolekaputuma.com/.
Adriana Bellet is an illustrator with her heart divided between Spain, Britain and Sweden. She discovered her love for illustration while studying design. She taught herself to draw and developed an obsession with old-school art materials. She is based in Stockholm and can be found at https://www.jeezvanilla.com/.
We Have Everything We Need to Start Again will publish on 20th June 2024, with an exclusive early May release in Koleka Putuma’s home country, South Africa.
Koleka’s debut picture book Fear, will also be published by Big Picture Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, in October 2024. This empowering book explores the relationship children have with fear and celebrates the bravery and courage within all of us.