Patience Agbabi (born 1965) is a British poet and performer with a particular emphasis on the spoken word. Although her poetry is hard-hitting in addressing contemporary themes, her work often makes use of strong formal constraints, including traditional poetic forms. She has described herself as 'bi-cultural' and bisexual, and issues of racial, sexual, and gender identity are important in her poetry.
Poetry and performances
Agbabi's first collection of poetry, R.A.W, was published in 1995 and received the Excelle Literary Award in 1997.
She has performed extensively and also worked in collaboration with other writers. Her work has also been influenced by rap rhythms and wordplay. She was a member of Atomic Lip, which has been described as "poetry's first pop group". They worked together from 1995 to 1998 and their last tour, Quadrophonix, in 1998 merged live and video performance. In 1996 she worked on a performance piece called FO(U)R WOMEN, with Adeola Agbebiyi and Dorothea Smartt, first performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
As well as performing in Britain she has also undertaken reading tours of Namibia, the Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, Germany and Switzerland, working with the British Council. She took part in Modern Love, a spoken-word event exploring love and modern relationships, which toured the UK and Switzerland.
Her poetry has been featured on television and radio, including the Channel 4 series Litpop in 1998 and on the children's programme Blue Peter in 1999. In 2000, she was one of ten poets commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to write a poem for National Poetry Day.
Her most recent book, Transformatrix, was published in 2000 and is a commentary on contemporary Britain which draws inspiration from popular music forms. Her current work in progress is called Body Language.
Agabi has taught and run workshops and also been poet in residence at various places ranging from Oxford Brookes University to a London tattoo and piercing studio. She has an MA in Creative Writing, the Arts and Education from the University of Sussex and in September, 2002 was appointed Associate Creative Writing Lecturer at the University of Wales, Cardiff.
In 2004, she was named as one of the Next Generation poets.
She has written a modern ballad,called Woman Of Bafa.Although that work it is not famous,it is a ballad that doesn't follow the rules of the medieval ballad because it has got stanzas with many lines.