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Zaffar Kunial was born in Birmingham and lives in Hebden Bridge. He published a pamphlet in the Faber New Poets series in 2014 and spent that year as the Wordsworth Trust Poet-in-Residence. Since his first public reading, of 'Hill Speak' at the 2011 National Poetry Competition awards, he has spoken at various literature festivals and in programmes for BBC radio, and won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for his poem 'The Word'.
From the beginning, the poet was a wanderer, a storyteller, an imaginer of bridges between worlds. Zaffar Kunial is just such a poet and guide for us today. Yet his territory extends much further afield than those of the past - through Kashmir, where his father was born and now lives, to the Midlands of his mother's birth, and further north to ancestors in Orkney, as well as through language, memory and time. Already an acknowledged star of the Faber New Poets scheme, Kunial has won admirers in such measure as to ensure that Us is one of the most anticipated debuts in recent times. Across its pages, he vocalises what it means to be a human being planting your two feet upon the dizzying earth - and he does so delicately, urgently, intimately - in some of the most original and touching ways that you will read.
I knew it was the beginning of something. My first match. History in the making - the way history turns in the air like a coin - Cricket was a major part of the poet Zaffar Kunial's childhood when growing up near the Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham. This pamphlet gathers six of his new poems on the subject, along with a series of previously published 'Extras'. Whether capturing legends of the sport, such as Imran Khan captaining his first Test match, or a shy encounter with Brian Johnston; the poet's boyish ambitions of becoming a professional player; experimenting with time in an elliptical sequence on hours at the Oval; or the timeless still point of a hit ball - Six is a collection for lovers of poetry and cricket alike.