We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Boy in Various Poses by Lewis Buxton along with us here at NCW. There is still time to look back over the conversation via our Discord community, and you can explore our writing prompt and questions for readers to help you get the most out of reading our chosen book.
If you’ve finished the book and would love something similarly brilliant to add to your ‘To Be Read’ pile, why not try one of these recommended reads? For this list Isobel Martin, NCW Programme Assistant, shares some of her top picks related to Lewis Buxton’s themes of masculinity, gender and relationships.
Got a good recommendation? We’d love to hear your thoughts over on Discord!
Our Book Club choice for April and May 2022 will be The Manningtree Witches by AK Blakemore. More information will soon be shared on our main Book Club page – please check back for all the latest updates.
More by Lewis Buxton
Primers: Volume 4 (Nine Arches Press)
This collection showcases the work of Lewis Buxton, Amelia Luolli and Victoria Richards – three of the most talented emerging voices in poetry.
It invites you, the reader, to step out of yourself and your body. Leave all your expectations behind and take the plunge on this rollercoaster-ride of motherhood, grief, new life and desire.
‘…from an examination of toxic masculinity to female desire and motherhood’ – Kim Moore
Workout! is a poetry-theatre show about anxiety and exercise. This funny, innovative and heart wrenching performance explores the obsessions and exercise routines that can shape lives.
Through the sweat-soaked, protein-shake fuelled narrative, Buxton takes the audience on an intimate deep dive through his own life. Anxieties will be unpicked, Yoga-with-Adrienne attempted and the joy, despair and mystery of exercise will be brought into focus.
This show will be held at the Norwich Arts Centre on Monday 16th May, as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022.
Co-commissioned by National Centre for Writing, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Norwich Arts Centre. Supported by the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund through Arts Council England.
More poetry exploring masculinity
Physical by Andrew MacMillan
Andrew MacMillan’s debut collection won the Guardian First Book award – and has been nominated for numerous others. Physical explores the realms of physicality, connection and desire, celebrating the male body and what it means to be ‘masculine’.
Noctuary by Niall Campbell (Bloodaxe Book Ltd)
This collection of poems takes a different approach to masculinity, by looking through the lens of fatherhood.
Aptly named, Noctuary is an account of the nighttime happenings and reflections of young father, Niall Campbell. It explores the relationship between father and son, old-self and new-self, and recounts Campbell’s thoughts and feelings during those moonlit hours given to restless sleep and midnight feeds.
Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi (Penguin Books Limited)
Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award, this collection explores and celebrates various aspects that shape identity: race, masculinity, nationality and the things we love.
‘A brilliant debut – a tender, nostalgic and, at times, darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief. A gorgeous and necessary collection from one of my favourite writers’ – Warsan Shire
Kumukanda translates as ‘initiation’, the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must perform before he is considered a man. Kayo Chingonyi’s debut collection explores this journey between worlds, ancestral and contemporary; between the living and the dead; between the gulf of who he is and how he is perceived. The initiation into manhood as it exists across cultures.
‘A tender, nostalgic and, at times, darkly hilarious exploration of black boyhood, masculinity and grief.’
And why not try…
Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
This novel takes places in the eighteenth century, following the adventures of Jack Sheppard – a transgender carpenter’s apprentice. Fleeing his master’s house to become a notorious prison break artist, and teaming up with revolutionary mastermind Bess Khan, they find themselves tangled up in the Thief-Catcher General’s web of corruption. This bawdy, genre-bending adventure collides into themes of gender, love, and liberation.
‘Confessions of the Fox is so good. Reading it was like an out-of-body experience. I want to run through the streets screaming about it. It should be in the personal canon of every queer and non-cis person. Read it.’ – Carmen Maria Machado