Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus MBE FRSL was born in London, Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is the author of Shapes & Disfigurements (Burning Eye, 2012) To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press, 2017), The Perseverance (Penned In The Margins / Tin House, 2018) and All The Names Given (Picador / Tin House, 2021).

In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre.

Other accolades include the Ted Hughes Award, Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the year Award, Somerset Maugham Award and The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as a shortlist for The Griffin Prize, T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize. In 2018 he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, (Judged by Ocean Vuong), for his poem Sound Machine. Also in 2019 and 2021 his poems (Jamaican British, The Perseverance and Happy Birthday Moon) was added to the UK’s GCSE syllabus.

He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works 3, Jerwood Compton and the Royal Society of Literature. He is also one of the world's first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths University

His poems have been published in POETRY, Poetry Review, Lit Hub, News Statesman, The Deaf Poets Society, among others.

Raymond was a founding member of Chill Pill and Keats House Poets Forum. He is an Ambassador for The Poetry School, Arts Emergency and a board member for English PEN (an organisation that promotes freedom of expression and literature across frontiers). He is also an advocate for several D/deaf charities including Deaf Kidz International and National Deaf Children’s Society.

Raymond also writes for young readers. His debut children’s picture book Can Bears Ski? is illustrated by Polly Dunbar and is published in the UK by Walker Books (2021) and in the US/Canada by Candle Wick Press (2020). It was selected as a Ezra Jack Keats honouree winner in 2021. In 2022 it was selected for a Read For Empathy (primary) Collection Award.

In March 2021 Raymond hosted his first BBC Radio 4 Documentary (‘Inventions In Sounds’) produced by ‘Falling Tree Productions’ which won a Best Documentary Award at the 2021 Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Raymond has read and performed his poetry at festivals (Glastonbury, Latitude, BOCAS, etc) to universities (Oxford, Goldsmiths, Cambridge etc). In 2020 he completed residencies at Warwick University, University of East Angelia and Swansea University. In 2021 he performed at the Paralympic Homecoming ceremony at Wembley Stadium.