There is now a new star in the UK’s poetry firmament. Four-year-old Nadim Shamma-Sourgen has just landed a book deal. Nadim’s poems range from ‘Coming Home’ to ‘Love’.
Here is an excerpt from Nadim’s poem ‘Coming Home’, ” Take our gloves off / Take our shoes off / Put them where they’re supposed to go. / You take off your brave feeling / Because there’s nothing / to be scared of in the house.” Can you believe that a four-year-old wrote this?
Nadim was discovered by this year’s Orwell prize winner, the poet, and teacher Kate Clanchy, who met his mother, Yasmine Shamma, a lecturer in literature at the University of Reading through a shared interest in teaching refugees to write poetry. Clanchy began sharing some of his poems on social media, and Nadim went on to be interviewed by the Sunday Times and Sky News.
Now he has landed a book deal with Walker Books, which will release his “astonishing” collection next summer. Walker executive Denise Johnstone-Burt said that she had been “astonished that anyone so young could write such sensitive verse.” The deal will make Nadim one of the youngest-ever writers to land a book deal.
Nadim himself sounded excited, although not excessively so, about the book deal. “I like writing poems, especially about nature. I feel happy that my poems will be in a book,” he said. “When my poems are in a book, can I please have a copy?”