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Roger Robinson Wins TS Eliot Prize
Christian Eede , January 14th, 2020 14:37

The poet, also known as one-half of King Midas Sound, was recognised for his 'A Portable Paradise' collection

Roger Robinson has been named the 2020 winner of the TS Eliot prize.

The British-Trinidadian dub poet, who forms one-half of King Midas Sound alongside Kevin Martin, won after receiving his first nomination for the award for his collection, A Portable Paradise. The TS Eliot prize is the only poetry award judged solely by established poets and comes with a £25,000 bonus for the winner.

"It came down to how moving the personal poems were and how relatable and accessible his poetry about his family was, alongside the more political parts about black history, Grenfell and the NHS," said the poet John Burnside, who chaired the judging panel. "There is a wonderful balance of the public and the personal in this collection. It is passionate and sociologically engaged, without being rigorous about it - there was a strong sense of humanity to the book.

"Poets have always written about injustices like racism and misogyny because poetry is a great medium for that as it engages all of our faculties, our abilities as humans, our empathies. When people are overtaken about rationality, they forget humanity and pity. Poetry reminds us of those traits again."

A Portable Paradise is Robinson's third poetry collection and was released via independent publisher Peepal Tree Press. The collection came out on top on a shortlist that included nine other nominees.

You can read tQ's review of King Midas Sound's 2019 album, Solitude, here.