Road Trip is a striking first collection by a poet with illuminating and entertaining stories to tell and an accomplished craft in using both traditional and contemporary forms in telling them. As a poet of Jamaican heritage, born and raised in north London and now working as a teacher, father of mixed race children, living in south Wales, Marvin Thompson brings together all those passages of place and time in fresh and revealing ways. He explores the underbelly of race and empire in uncovering and inventing stories of his father’s time in the British army. He writes with feeling of the post-industrial landscape of Wales and wonders whether this is a place he can bring up his children — though one should never assume that any of Thompson’s poems are factually true. He uses sonnet, adapted villanelle and sestina sequences to tell utterly contemporary stories. Thompson has a refreshing, curious and honest eye that transforms and illuminates the everyday into something special and unique, but also a convincing vision of possibility and even of the uplifting.
Date: 5th March 2020
Extent: 56 pp