Roy's BooksRoy McFarlane

Saturday 10 June 2023
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Beginning with your last breath Nine Arches Press (Summer 2016)

This debut collection of poems by former Birmingham Poet Laureate Roy McFarlane explores love, loss, adoption and identity in powerful, precise and emotionally-charged poetry. From bereavement comes forth a life story in poems; the journey of sons, friends, lovers and parents, and all the moments of growing-up, discovery, falling in and out of love and learning to say goodbye that come along the way.
Themes of place, identity, history, and race interweave personal narratives, with and poems that touch on everything from the 'Tebbitt Test', Marvin Gaye, and the Black Country, that 'place just off the M6'. Distinct and memorable, McFarlane's poems are beautifully focused, moving their readers between both the spiritual and the sensual worlds with graceful, rapturous hymns to the transformative power of love.

Ten Black British Poets from the Midlands by Eric Doumerc, Roy McFarlane

RoyBookCelebrate Wha? is a book of many voices. It is a book of questions and answers. It is an anthology of poems about identity and race, curried goat 'n' rice. Dreadlock Alien, Sue Brown, Marcia Calame, Evoke, Martin Glynn, Michelle Hubbard, Kokumo, Roy McFarlane, Chester Morrison and Moqapi Selassie explore what it means to be black and British and from the West Midlands. This is the English language in a Caribbean coat, Auden in a Creole accent, writing with a reggae rhythm. Celebrate Wha? is poetry as Wordsworth said it should be – 'the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings'. Mixing dub, grime and performance poetry, anger and laughter, politics and music, these ten poets know what they want to say and know how to say it.