Raymond Antrobus’ poetry anthology deserves all the praise I’ve seen it continuously gather over the last few years. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, The Ted Hughes Award and shortlisted for a number of others, The Perseverance is a shining example of modern poetry and a defiant step away from the notion that poetry is inherently inaccessible.
Raymond’s poetry mirrors his experience of growing up a British-Jamaican in East London, of growing up deaf, of growing up with an addict father, of growing up in a world set on insisting he didn’t have a place in it.
I read every poem once, twice, thrice – they mean something different every time, while consistently maintaining a fierce sense of identity. I like to think of this type of book as a backwards page-turner – you just can’t help flicking backwards to read it one more time and understand it slightly differently.
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