Our PBS Selectors sure know how to spot emerging talent... recent PBS Winter Choice Raymond Antrobus has been awarded the £30,000 Rathbone Folio Prize!
The Perseverance was chosen from a shortlist of four novels, a novella, one collection of poetry and two works of non-fiction from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and North America.
Launched in 2013, the Rathbones Folio Prize is the only literary prize in which all books, fiction and non-fiction, are judged, strictly on merit, by an Academy of writers. It is the very first time the prize has been awarded to a poet!
Kate Clanchy, chair of the judges, said: “We chose eight books we loved in different genres and deciding between them was painful.... In the end, though, we agreed on Raymond Antrobus’ ‘The Perseverance’, an immensely moving book of poetry which uses his D/ deaf experience, bereavement and Jamaican/British heritage to consider the ways we all communicate with each other. It’s an exceptionally brave, kind book,: it seemed, in our atomised times, to be the book we most wanted to give to others, the book we all needed to read.”
Raymond Antrobus was born in Hackney, London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works III and Jerwood Compton Poetry. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word Education from Goldsmiths, University of London. Raymond is a founding member of Chill Pill and the Keats House Poets Forum. He has had multiple residencies in deaf and hearing schools around London. In 2018 he was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Award by the Poetry Society.
Raymond joins a long list of PBS alumnae who have gone on to win more accolades including PBS Recommendation Phoebe Power who went on to win the Forward Prize for Best First Collection last year with Shrines of Upper Austria and Ocean Vuong winner of the T S Eliot Prize for Night Sky With Exit Wounds. We can't wait to see the Forward shortlist announcement later this week - fingers crossed for plenty more PBS poet prizes!
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