A pillar of British poetry for the best part of three decades, Grace Nichols is a Guyana-born poet whose first collection I is a Long Memoried Woman was published in 1983, six years after she first moved to live in the UK in ’77. Since then, she has won such prestigious awards the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and has published extensively, writing a novel and several books for children alongside her many poetry collections and appearances in anthologies.
Nichols was part of a wave of West-Indian poets who came to shape the poetry scene in the eighties, using the art form as a way to respond to the issues of the time. Her honest and captivating depictions of the experience of life as an immigrant in the UK make her a vital counterpoint to the contemporary discourse on immigration while her skilful and nuanced blending of Caribbean and British cultures, languages and rhythms mean she remains both engaging and surprising. The musicality of her work, profoundly influenced by the rhythms and lyricism of her homeland, make her as much of a joy to hear as to read, and she continues to perform her work as well as publish collections.
Poet’s website: https://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/client/grace-nichols