Passport to Here and There by Grace Nichols
PBS Summer Special Commendation 2020
In Passport to Here and There Grace Nichols traces a journey that moves from the coastal memories of a Guyana childhood to life in Britain and her adoptive Sussex landscape. In these movingly redemptive and celebratory poems, she embraces connections and re-connections with the ability to turn the ordinary into something sensuous and memorable whether personal or public, contemporary or historical, most notably in a sonnet-sequence which grew out of a recent return trip to Guyana. Her ninth collection of adult poems and her fourth book with Bloodaxe, Passport to Here and There makes a significant contribution both to Caribbean and to British poetry.
Atlantic – now sleeping in the distance
peaceful as a dog glossed by the morning sun.
Atlantic – now churning up an army of wild horses,
white manes threatening a biblical leaping
or brooding on the ships that bruised your memory
Passport to Here and There is Grace Nichols's third new collection since her Bloodaxe retrospective, I Have Crossed an Ocean (2010), following Picasso, I Want My Face Back (2009) and The Insomnia Poems (2017).
‘Unquestionably one of our most important living poets, Grace Nichols returns with her ninth collection of poems about a childhood in Guyana and move to Britain. With wit and warmth, Nichols delves into the what is lost and gained by being between places.’ - Katie Goh, i-D (Books to read in 2020), on Passport to Here and There
‘Not only rich music, an easy lyricism, but also grit, and earthy honesty, a willingness to be vulnerable and clean.’ – Gwendolyn Brooks