Sep 052013
 

patience-agbabi-thumbHer parents were Nigerian, but London images-13born Patience Agbabi was raised by a white English family.  Her early childhood was spent in Wales where she had access to her Nigerian parents as well.  In anything that I have read about Patience, one thing comes forth that she used situations for a positive influennce.  For example, she writes that moving between African and English culture was a positive learning experience.  Most writers know the old adage ‘write what you know’ and all her experiences make her poetry a rich and inviting form of communication.

 

I think that with most children born in a different country to their parents, there is a desire to know their heritage.  She admits in different interviews and posts that she”fell

in love with “Northern Soul” which was African-American dance music popular in the North of England in the 1960-1970s.  It was the emotions and physical movement of this music that she later put into her poetry.  Colwyn Bay was the home for young Patience and the 25,000 residents were a combination of bikers, rockers, punks and romantics.

 

A bright woman, Patience attended Pembroke College, Oxford where she studied English Language and Literature.  Like most of us, Patience credits certain persons as having influenced her: Janis Joplin, Carol Ann Duffy and Chaucer.  (She is writing a contemporary version of Chaucer’s works).

 

Patience loves to take her reading performances to Africa (Namibia and Zimbabwe) and has toured Europe (Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland).

 

In 2004, Patience was named as one of the “Next Generation Poets.”

 

Patience Agbabi  (Sample Poem)

Josephine Baker finds herself

She picked me up
like a slow-burning fuse. I was down
that girls’ club used to run in Brixton,
on acid for fuel. Lipstick lesbians,
techno so hardcore it’s spewing out Audis.
She samples my heartbeat and mixes it with
vodka on the rocks. I’m her light-skinned, negative,
twenty-something, short black wavy-bobbed diva.
She purrs La Garçonne, fancy a drink? I say
Yes. She’s crossing the Star Bar like it’s a catwalk. So sleek!
A string of pearls, her flapper dress
studded with low-cut diamonds
through my skin, straight to my heart.
Twenties chic! She works
me up and down. I worship
the way she looks.

The way she looks
me up and down. I worship
twenties chic. She works
through my skin, straight to my heart
studded with low-cut diamonds.
A string of pearls, her flapper dress.
Yes! She’s crossing the Star Bar like it’s a catwalk so sleek
she purrs, la garçonne! Fancy a drink? I say.
Twenty-something, short, Black, wavy-bobbed diva:
Vodka on the rocks, I’m her light-skinned negative.
She samples my heartbeat and mixes it with
techno so hardcore it’s spewing out Audis
on acid for fuel. Lipstick Lesbians,
that girls’ club used to run in Brixton
like a slow-burning fuse. I was down.
She picked me up.

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