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Summary

Winner of the Ted Hughes Award, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and a Somerset Maugham Award.

Shortlisted for the Griffin Prize, the Jhalak Prize, and a Poetry Book Society Choice. 

A Guardian, Sunday Times, and Poetry School Book of the Year.

The Perseverance is the remarkable debut book by British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus. Ranging across history and continents, these poems operate in the spaces in between, their haunting lyrics creating new, hybrid territories. The Perseverance is a book of loss, contested language and praise, where elegies for the poet's father sit alongside meditations on the d/Deaf experience.  

©2018 Penned in the Margins (P)2019 Penned in the Margins

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Authorial extras in the audio!

A completely brilliant collection of poems, many addressing features of d/Deaf life and pioneers in the history of Deaf people, including the tension between speaking and signing as forms of language. The other theme is the then recent death of the poet’s Jamaican father and the issue of the author's access to Black and Jamaican identities (in 'Ode to my hair' and 'Maybe I Could Love a Man', respectively). And with the poignancy and the righteous anger, there's a lot of humour here too, not least in 'Thinking of Dad's Dick'.

The audio, read by the author, has added contextualising introductions for many of the poems which go beyond the notes in the printed text. The printed text has illustrations of BSL words. I strongly recommend getting both.

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  • TJ
  • 29-12-19

Just buy it.

When words aren't words anymore but images, that's when you know you've stumbled onto something great. Rich and evocative, the poems cut through perceptions of what we think we know about deafness and prejudice.

I discovered the book when Raymond read at a writing event recently, and I was glad to see he narrates this audiobook because his voice adds so much depth of feeling.

The poems, peppered with little details of life, expose perspectives I'd never encountered before. And all the more interesting to listen to the book while being challenged to think about hearing.

Highly recommended, and I don't often like poetry! Chapter 20, I want the confidence of, is my favourite poem.

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Truly remarkable!

My wife bought me the paper copy of this book and that stunned me, but to hear these poems in Raymond's voice with an explanation, was even better.
The only thing and Amazon Audible need to address this, is that the poems are not titled, just chapter 1 etc!
Overall though, I just loved it.

1 person found this helpful