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POET OF THE DAY: ROY MCFARLANE

Posted on October 19 2018

Now more than ever, in Black History Month and beyond, Roy McFarlane’s second poetry collection, The Healing Next Time, is a timely and unparalleled book of interwoven sequences on institutional racism, deaths in custody and of a life story set against the ever-changing backdrop of Birmingham at the turn of the millennium. Here forms a potent and resolute narrative in lyrical and multidimensional poems which refuse to look the other way or accept the whitewashed version of events. Courageous, rageful and mournful, these are poems of Black history and Black presence, poems of witness and poems of activism. McFarlane’s intricate lines make record of injustice and mark the names of those who have lost their lives and dignity to prejudice and hatred. The Healing Next Time also asks vital questions of the future, and of the reader – and reminds us where the power to change things lies. It is also a poetry of personal discovery, of revelation and resilience – where the influence of Jazz and of James Baldwin infuse and shape this unique, remarkable book.

Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and has spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and Starbucks’ Poet in Residence, and is presently the Birmingham & Midland Institute’s Poet in Residence. Roy’s writing has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe, 2012), Filigree (Peepal Tree, 2018) and he is the editor of Celebrate Wha? Ten Black British Poets from the Midlands (Smokestack, 2011). His first full collection of poems, Beginning With Your Last Breath, was published by Nine Arches Press.

The Healing Next Time is available to order here with 25% off for PBS Members.

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