The Perseverance

Raymond Antrobus

"Raymond Antrobus is as searching a poet as you're likely to find writing today."

Kaveh Akbar
the poetry book society choice
poetry book of the year - the guardian
poetry book of the year - the sunday times

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.


Our price £7.99
RRP £9.99
91 pages
ISBN 9781908058522
Published 1 October 2018
Cover design: Daniel Benneworth-Gray


‘In his new collection, The Perseverance, Raymond Antrobus writes: ‘We are centuries away from people / believing our stories without / perversion, without pity.’ At every turn, Antrobus pushes back against flattening, against the tidy narrative — an invidious Ted Hughes poem gets radically revised, an aunt’s misheard utterance becomes ‘a faint fog horn, a lost river.’ It’s magic, the way this poet is able to bring together so much — deafness, race, masculinity, a mother’s dementia, a father’s demise — with such dexterity. Raymond Antrobus is as searching a poet as you’re likely to find writing today.’
Kaveh Akbar

The Perseverance is an insightful, frank and intimate rumination on language, identity, heritage, loss and the art of communication. Ranging from tender elegies about his father to frank interrogations of deafness, Antrobus highlights the persistence of memory and our need to connect. These colloquial, historical and conversational poems plunder the space of missing, and absence in speech/ our conversations — between what we hear and what we do not say. Perseverance is a lyrical translation of a power dynamic always present in conversational exchanges but even more so in the d/Deaf experiences. Thought-provoking and eloquent monologues explore the poet’s Jamaican/ British heritage with such compassion, where the spirit and rhythm of each speaker dominates. These are courageous autobiographical poems of praise, difficulties, testimony and love.’
Malika Booker

'Raymond Antrobus's compelling debut, The Perseverance, confronts deeply rooted prejudice against deaf people.’
The Guardian - Poetry Book of the Year

‘[A] memorable collection ... Antrobus interlaces wit and pathos as he examines his identity as a deaf British-Jamaican man in a world between sign language and speech.'
The Sunday Times - Poetry Book of the Year

About the author

Raymond Antrobus was born in Hackney, London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works III and Jerwood Compton Poetry. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word Education from Goldsmiths, University of London. Raymond is a founding member of Chill Pill and the Keats House Poets Forum. He has had multiple residencies in deaf and hearing schools around London, as well as Pupil Referral Units. In 2018 he was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Award by the Poetry Society (judged by Ocean Vuong). Raymond currently lives in London and spends most his time working nationally and internationally as a freelance poet and teacher.

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