British Jamaican’s debut collection challenges Hughes’s description of deaf children
After fiercely challenging Ted Hughes’s description of deaf children as “alert and simple” in a poem in his first collection, the deaf spoken-word poet Raymond Antrobus has won the Ted Hughes award for poetry.
The 33-year-old British Jamaican, who has performed at Glastonbury and also works as a teacher, has received the £5,000 prize for his debut The Perseverance. Described as “compelling” in the Guardian, the collection touches on family life, particularly the death of Antrobus’s father, his diagnosis with deafness as a small child, and his biracial heritage. It has also been longlisted for this year’s Folio prize.