Our PBS Summer Recommendation Victoria Adukwei Bulley reveals the inspirations behind her new collection Quiet.
as a PBS Member to read our full interview with Victoria in the Summer Bulletin
“The idea of quiet, then, can shift attention to what is interior.”
– Kevin Quashie, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture
"When I first set out to put Quiet together I wasn’t sure that the ideas I was exploring would be coherent, let alone interesting to anyone beyond myself. I worried that the poems were, ironically, too quiet – that it would be difficult to sustain writing around a concept that might just as easily be described as a mood or feeling.
I was trying to articulate something both real and also difficult to grasp – about black introversion, for one, but also about the particular structural imperative placed upon the black subject to perennially give testimony to racialised suffering – as a way of validating, alleviating (and reproducing) that suffering – at the same time as the demand to be silent, well- mannered; unseen. I wanted to paint something of that psychic tension, and it wasn’t until I was introduced to the work of Kevin Quashie, quoted above, that the way forward – or rather, inward – crystallised."
Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and artist. An alumna of the Barbican Young Poets and recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, Victoria has held residencies in the US, Brazil and the V&A Museum in London. Her debut pamphlet, Girl B, was published by the African Poetry Book Fund in 2017. She is the recipient of a Techne scholarship for doctoral research at Royal Holloway, University of London.