Richard Georges

Richard Georges (b. 1982, Port of Spain, Trinidad) was raised and now lives in the British Virgin Islands. Writing poetry, he says, is ‘something that I feel like I’ve always done with varying degrees of commitment and dedication’. During his undergraduate degree, he found himself ‘falling in love with images and rhyme and would find parallels between writers like Walcott and Eliot with lyrical rappers like Nas and Eminem.’

Make Us All Islands is various, familiar and challenging by turns, but keeps returning to what Georges describes as its ‘bones’: ‘Those bones speak to certain submerged narratives of the British Virgin Islands, a place which is rich in histories that aren’t well understood here, and almost unknown abroad. Make Us All Islands attempts to write those narratives into the Caribbean landscape, to fill these island-sized gaps.’

Georges finds inspiration and influence in ‘the wonderful generation of contemporary Caribbean poets writing today. I admire various aspects of their poetics, for example: Rowan Ricardo Phillips’ mastery of form, or Ishion Hutchinson’s range of language, or Shivanee Ramlochan’s honesty, or Kei Miller’s lyricism, or Safiya Sinclair’s ambition.’

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2017 Forward Prizes for Best First Collection, shortlisted for Make Us All Islands (Shearsman Books)