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POET OF THE WEEK

Posted on September 03 2021

ALL THE NAMES GIVEN | RAYMOND ANTROBUS
AUTUMN RECOMMENDATION

Raymond Antrobus’s much anticipated second collection, All The Names Given, continues his essential investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory. Beginning with poems meditating on the author’s surname –  Antrobus then examines the rich and fraught history carried within it. As he describes a childhood caught between intimacy and brutality, sound and silence, and conflicting racial and cultural identities, the poem becomes a space in which to reckon with his own ancestry, and bear witness to the indelible legacy of colonialism. These poems travel between England, South Africa, Jamaica, and the American South, through the lust of adolescence to a vivid and complex array of marriage poems. Throughout, All The Names Given is punctuated with [Caption Poems] partially inspired by Deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim, which attempt to fill in the silences and transitions between the poems. Direct, open and formally sophisticated, All The Names Given breaks new ground. This is a timely, humane and tender book from one of the most important young poets of his generation.

Raymond Antrobus was born in London, Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father, he is the author of To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize. Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award and The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and Forward Prize. His poem 'Jamaican British' was added to the GCSE syllabus in 2019.

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