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Roger Robinson's poems of Trinidad and London win Ondaatje prize


A Portable Paradise is the second poetry collection to win £10,000 award for a book that conjures ‘the spirit of a place’

Roger Robinson’s vision of Trinidad as a “portable paradise” of “white sands, green hills and fresh fish”, has won the British-Trinidadian poet the Royal Society of Literature’s £10,000 Ondaatje prize, which goes to a work that best evokes “the spirit of a place”.

Robinson’s collection, A Portable Paradise, which has already won him the TS Eliot prize, moves from the Grenfell Tower fire to the Windrush generation and the legacy of slavery. In its title poem, he writes how “if I speak of Paradise, / then I’m speaking of my grandmother / who told me to carry it always on my person, concealed, so / no one else would know but me”.

Related: Poem of the month: A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson

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