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Childish Recollections

Childish Recollections

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Childish Recollections is a series of poems that explore the poet’s transition from childhood to adulthood; from moving from Ghana to the UK in 1977 aged 2 to leaving university in 1996. Moss has added the suffix ‘ish’ because as an Anglo-Ghanaian seventies child growing up in a mono-cultural market town, he was in some ways forced to grow up very quickly. The author experienced a level of racism, subtle and more overt that no child (or for that matter adult) should bear. In addition, the suffix is apt as it is an imprecise recollection of experiences, neither perfectly factual nor fictional, that lie somewhere between. Moss reflects upon the perennial condition (or if you will, the default ‘mid’ imposition) of being ‘ish’ in the middle that he experiences between cultures, ‘races’ and classes! Childish Recollections is the poet’s imaginative recounting and memorialising of a history both personal and universal.

Praise for Childish Recollections...

This arresting fifth collection should not go unnoticed. Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss’s meticulously crafted reminiscence of the vagaries of identity unflinchingly explores the ways in which our sense of self is both fluid and settled. Looking back over time and distance, Moss evocatively examines his complex roots, from Ghana to Bedfordshire, concluding ‘I’m half black/I’m half white … Nothing is black and white’. These poems feel essential. They do what poetry should do – they clarify who we are by concentrating on the particularities of a single life in precise and resonant language. - John Foulcher, poet

In Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss collection ‘Childish Recollections’ The memories are vivid, like walking through perfectly detailed historical timelines. I grew with each poem.  Place and Memory are my two lovers. I travelled with Andrew. I saw and appreciated the beauty of place and what one remembers. most importantly, reading each poem, I learned something new. - Eric Ngalle, poet, author, playwright

Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss’s fifth collection ‘Childish Recollections’ bounces off the page. An immersive reading experience alive with cultural, linguistic and geographical crossings evoking the worlds of 1970s Ghana and Bedfordshire, England. Moss’s work draws deeply from his childhood and he writes straight from the heart – there is both a direct and deeply observant quality here. Poems bold in form untangle the traumas of racism from the richness of cultural duality. They are peppered with popular cultural references, from music to sport, TV and cars, which root them solidly in time and place. The matrilineal line is strong here; the smell Moss’s Mother and Grandmother’s cooking rise from the page and bend homesickness with belonging; ‘Comfort cooks on gas, often she inhales Akan aphorisms’. Moss’s poems, which move effortlessly between Twi and English, are a rich cultural stew which ‘un-crack palm-kernels of truth’ and unravel the realities of a hybrid, Afro-British identity. - Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Reader in Postcolonial Literature at Leeds Beckett University,
Author and Poet.

From childhood innocence through to adolescent angst, this collection examines the
subjectivities of a speaker whose life has been shaped by the afterlife of transatlantic slavery and imperialism. Andrew Moss journeys across continents, connecting past and present through a rhythmic flow of verses that give voice to the birthing of a hybrid identity shaped by race, language and culture at the intersection of two worlds, Europe and Africa. At the heart of this probing, the collection shines with the energy of a writer who offers the reader an invitation to delve into the crucible of this human conundrum where the Displaced and dispossessed, descendant[s] of slavery, a turtle, Carry home on [their] shoulders, a boulder of colonization. In poems such as Nanas Intertwined and Odondo Talking Drum, the speaker highlights the gifts that have emerged from the struggles and contradictions of living in two worlds. From this interrogation of the past fraught with memories of racism and dislocation, arises a celebration of the empowerment harvested from the lineages of two Nanas, Nana Ghana and Nana England: Life is neither black nor white. These poems are hymns, whispering above the complexities of a post-colonial world, Here’s to peace. - Dr. Marva McClean is the author of From the Middle Passage to Black Lives Matter: Ancestral Writing as a Pedagogy of Hope

Moss's debut collection is raw, heartfelt and infused with love and longing for people and places. It is a powerful recollection of being the 'Other' in Britain: in the school playground; of being a child trying his best to fit in, in an often-hostile environment; moving from childhood into young adulthood and the different challenges that presents; and of being a child and young man, who, due to his dual heritage, inhabits two very different worlds. Readers who grew up in 1970s and 1980s Britain will find much that resonates: those-half forgotten memories of the things which formed an integral part of the backdrop to our lives: Ladybird books, Battenberg cakes, custard creams and gold tins of hairspray, 'bottles of bitter lemon' and 'cheeks cobwebbed red.'For readers from the African diaspora, there is much to connect to: the exploration of what it means to have dual heritage, that searching for self. Others will be transported, through Moss's evocative poetry, to both of the worlds he has
created and the path he has weaved between the two. Moss skilfully connects two disparate continents - Europe and Africa - with their long and painful history, and connects past with present, country with country, colonisation with decolonisation. The contrast between the two continents is palpable, visceral. Each place is brought vividly to life with rich and finely observed details. Reading this collection is like walking through time and space, a journey both real and imagined or remembered. There is
something here for everyone, no matter what our heritage, Moss's powerful words speak to us all. - Louisa Adjoa Parker, Writer, Poet, Speaker, Consultant

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Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss

Andrew is a writer and teacher who has lived in the UK, Japan and currently Australia. Of Anglo-Ghanaian heritage, his work seeks to explore and challenge liminal landscapes, complex identities and the social constructs of race. Andrew has received two Best of Net Awards, a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award nomination for his poetry.

He has previously had work published by Afropean, People in Harmony, Fly on the Wall Press, Fair Acre Press, Golden Walkman, Beliveau Books, Poor Yorick Literary Journal, GMGA Publishing, The Good Life Review, Red Penguin Books, Scissortail Press, The Minison Project, dyst Literary Journal, Sound The Abeng, Rigorous, Wingless Dreamer, Litoria Press and The Caribbean Writer among others. 

Most recently, his work is featured ­­­­in BSPG's 'The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2019-2021', ‘Poetry for the Planet: An Anthology of Imagined Futures’, (Litoria Press) and 'Nombono: An Anthology of Speculative Poetry by BIPOC Poets' (Sundress Publications).

His work was included in ‘Beyond Alienation, Hatred and Terror’, Poetry in Times of Conflict series, Writers Workshop India and 'The Black Anthology, Language 2' with 10:10 Press. Andrew is one of the authors showcased in the Year's Best African Speculative Fiction 2022 anthology.  

Andrew's debut novella Nicked Names was published by RoseyRavelston Books in July 2022 and has since released four full length poetry books; Japanabandon, Manifest.oh!, Diaspora³ and Objections, Scars & Artefacts through RoseyRavelston Books, the most recent in October 2023. 

His chapter ‘The Triumph of Bi-Racial Identity: Funds of Knowledge as Student Agency’ was published in The Struggle for Justice, Equity, and Peace in the Global Classroom, by IGI Global in June 2023. 

He was commissioned as a Red Room Poetry artist in association with the National Gallery Australia in August 2023, writing an ekphrastic poem HHH/KKK in response to Fiona Foley’s photograph HHH.