PG Tips

PG Tips by Isabelle Baafi
By Isabelle Baafi

Listen to Isabelle Baafi reading ‘PG Tips’

This week’s poem by Isabelle Baafi is the first in a trio of poems by our new ignitionpress authors! We are very excited to be launching three new pamphlets by Isabelle, Daniel Fraser, and Kostya Tsolakis online on Friday 6 November.  Please join us! The event will be held via Zoom and livestreamed to our YouTube channel. You can find more details about the launch and sign up to attend it here.

‘PG Tips’ is copyright © Isabelle Baafi, 2020. It is reprinted from Ripe (ignitionpress, 2020) by permission of ignitionpress.

‘Hunger made me’, reveals one speaker in Ripe, and the desire to be satiated fills these poems. Desperate women hide grains of rice in their hair, baked beans evoke a strained father-daughter relationship, plantains endure the fire. Yet hunger takes many forms, as the risks and rewards of its satisfaction are weighed, and cravings for intimacy are charged with danger. ‘When we’re born, we’re someone else’s’, but in this daring exploration of identity and survival, we hear a thrilling new voice come into its own.

Regarding ‘PG Tips’, Isabelle writes: ‘This poem explores the psychology of postnatal depression. It was inspired by the experience of a family member.’ 

Isabelle Baafi is a writer and poet from London. She was the winner of the 2019 Vincent Cooper Literary Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition. Her work has been anthologised by Verve Poetry Press, 20.35 Africa and The Caribbean Writer, and has been published in The Poetry ReviewAnthropoceneFinished Creatures, and harana poetry. She is a Board Member at Magma Poetry. You can read more about Isabelle on her website and follow her on Twitter.

ignitionpress is a poetry pamphlet press from Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects. 

Since its establishment in 2017, two pamphlets (A Hurry of English by Mary Jean Chan and Hinge by Alycia Pirmohamed) have been selected by the Poetry Book Society as their Pamphlet Choices, and all the pamphlets still in print are available to buy from our online Shop. Each pamphlet costs £5 and you can buy three for £12. You can find out more about the poets and their work on our dedicated page.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.