Roger Robinson (poet)

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Roger Robinson is an award-winning writer, musician and performer who lives between England and Trinidad.[1] He describes himself as "a British resident with a Trini sensibility".[2] He was chosen by arts organisation Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced black-British writing over the past 50 years.[1][2] He was a spoken-word performer in London in the early 1990s, before branching out to start performing poetry with bands he would meet, including Techno Animal, Flytronix, The Bugz, Attica Blues and Speeka.[3] Robinson is the lead vocalist for musical crossover project King Midas Sound, whose critically acclaimed debut album Waiting for You was released on Hyperdub Records,[4][5] becoming number 10 in the top 50 releases of 2009 in Wire Magazine.[6]


Robinson was born in Hackney, London, and at the age of four went with his parents to live in Trinidad, returning to England when he was 19[7] in the 1980s.[8]

Robinson has toured extensively with the British Council, travelling to Vietnam, the Philippines, Argentina, Bulgaria, Greece, India, the Czech Republic and Mozambique, among other places.[8] As well as performing, he has led workshops and lectured on poetry and performance.[1] His one-man shows The Shadow Boxer, Letter from My Father's Brother and Prohibition all premiered at the British Festival of Visual Theatre at Battersea Arts Centre.[1] Until 2000, Robinson was programme co-ordinator of the performance poetry organisation Apples and Snakes. In 1999 he was one of 30 poets chosen for the New Generation Poets collection at the National Portrait Gallery, London.[1]

Commissions he has received include from Theatre Royal Stratford East, the National Trust, London Open House, the National Portrait Gallery, LIFT and the Tate. His workshops have been a part of a shortlist for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries and were also a part of the Webby Award-winning Barbican Centre's Can I Have A Word.[9]

In 2010 his poetry collection Suckle won the People's Book Prize.[4][8] His 2013 collection The Butterfly Hotel was one of three poetry titles shortlisted for the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.[10]

His solo album of spoken folk, illclectica, was released on Altered Vibes records in 2004;[1] it was named by Mojo Magazine as "number eight in the top 10 electronic albums for that year.[11] In 2015 he released Dis Side Ah Town, which has been described as "an album that lyrically recalls the most incisive and suggestive lyricists in dub and roots reggae".[12]



  • illclectica (Altered Vibes, 2004)
  • Dis Side Ah Town (2015)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Roger Robinson" page at Literature, British Council.
  2. ^ a b Davina Morris, "Trini poet Roger Robinson", Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, 17 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Roger Robinson", Westbury Music.
  4. ^ a b "Roger Robinson", Book Slam.
  5. ^ "King Midas Sound", Festival Searcher.
  6. ^ "About", Roger Robinson.
  7. ^ "Roger Robinson - biography", Meet the Poets, Barbican.
  8. ^ a b c "Roger Robinson - a writer and performer who lives between London and Trinidad",
  9. ^ "Can I Have a Word?", Barbican.
  10. ^ "Ten writers vie for the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize", Bocas Lit Fest, 25 February 2013.
  11. ^ Poets and Tutors, The Complete Works II.
  12. ^ Neil Kulkarni, "Reading The Riot Act: Roger Robinson Interviewed", The Quietus, 13 July 2015.

External links[edit]