As a Trust created and run for the preservation of the life and works of Cornish poet Charles Causley, we were delighted to hear that Roger Robinson’s collection “A Portable Paradise” that paints such vivid imagery of Trinidad using evocatively descriptive language, recently won the Royal Society of Literature’s £10,000 Ondaatje prize.
This coveted award goes to a work that best evokes “the spirit of a place”, and for the Charles Causley Trust this really resonates as it is only the second time in 16 years a poetry collection has won this prestigious prize, and Causley’s poetry was so rooted in the place of his birth, Launceston in Cornwall that it feels so particularly pertinent.
Roger Robinson is an award winning poet, educator, lecturer, workshop leader and much more. His words seem to translate the complex and beautiful, the painful and the joyful in everyday life into the most succinct and yet fragrant poetry.
His collection “A Portable Paradise” evokes imagery of his life both here and in Trinidad, conjuring the most beautiful portraits of everyday and extraordinary experiences, with a dart like precision of how we feel in those moments.
Charles Causley was most definitely a poet of place and daily life, he often wrote about his community, the characters in it and like Robinson, of his experiences to evoke that sense of the home you carry in your heart. Through Causley’s simple yet difficult to mimic poetry, he uses metaphorical comparisons to build in your mind’s eye a visual representation of his life, not unlike Robinson.
Congratulations to Roger Robinson and needless to say we are thrilled that a poetry collection has won this year, highlighting this literary medium and putting it front and facing where it should be.
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