“One of the most important voices in the UK right now” – Raymond Antrobus;
“The voice of our communal Consciousness” – Afua Hirsch.
Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020 and the RSL Ondaatje Prize.
These are finely crafted poems that reveal Roger Robinson’s capacity to tell involving stories and capture the essence of a character in a few words, to move the emotions with the force of verbal expression, and engage our thoughts, as in the sequence of poems that reflect on just what paradise might be. A Portable Paradise is a feast to be carried by lovers of poetry wherever they go.
Roger Robinson’s range is wide: the joys and pains of family life; the ubiquitous presence of racism, both subtle and unsubtle; observations on the threatening edge of violence below the surface energies of Black British territories in London; emblematic poems on the beauty and often bizarre strangeness of the world of animals; quizzical responses to the strange, the heartening, and the appalling in incidents or accounts of incidents encountered in daily life; reflections on the purposes and costs of making art, as in fine poems on a George Stubbs’ painting, John Coltrane’s Ascension and cocaine. Not least, in the sequence of poems that reflect on the meanings of the Grenfell Tower fire, Roger Robinson finds ways to move beyond a just indignation to uncover the undertones of experience that bring us nearer to the human reality of that event.
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press
Size: 13.34 x 20.96 cm