Writing Britain Now: Nick Makoha in conversation with Roger Robinson

By Wasafiri Editor on July 17, 2019 in Articles

On the occasion of the publication of Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise on 12 July, our writer-in-residence, Nick Makoha sat down to speak with the author about the book, his working methods and his views on poetry. 

Robinson first published in Wasafiri Special Issue 74: ‘Brighter Suns: Sixty Years of Literature from Trinidad’ in 2013, and subsequently served as the poetry judge for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2015A Portable Paradise is Robinson’s fourth collection. Blending pop culture, history, nature writing, mythology, art, and socio-political commentary, the collection aims to illustrate the suffering of contemporary life; its title, in Robinson’s words ‘pointing to the philosophy that the poems express: that earthly joy is, or ought to be, just within, but is often just beyond our reach.’

With sequences that interrogate the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the Windrush deportations scandal, A Portable Paradise explores the human experiences that underly both events as it reflects on just what paradise might be. Watch Robinson read an excerpt below.

A Portable Paradise is published by Peepal Tree Press and available to purchase now.