Half-caste and Other Poems by John Agard

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Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

One of the the UK's top performance poets explores issues of race and identity in this classic collection.


Half-caste and Other Poems by John Agard

The tensions brought about by differences of race and culture are at the heart of this powerful and entertaining collection by one of Britain's most exciting and original poets and performers. John Agard, winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, explores the richness of human diversity in the world today.


He explores issues of race and identity, violence and grief, love and life. -- Carousel

A performance poet, Agard uses rhyme, repetition and refrains that make his work sing...Skilful use of humour to get his serious points across. -- The Book Horn Inc

A fine introduction to the ... poet's work for older children... This powerful plea for tolerance ... By turns playful and sincere, buoyant and thoughtful, his humanism is the thread that runs through these selections and reaches out to readers of all backgrounds... Agard eloquently voices a universal concern as he describes 'stepping in a big ship/not knowing how long the journey/or that you're stepping into history'. -- School Library Journal-US Review

Normally poetry is not our thing, but we took the time to really read many of the poems in this book. ('For the Record')... had only 27 words but rhymed well, was amusing and has stuck in our brains. -- Teen Titles (Edinburgh City Council)

About the Author

John Agard

John Agard is a playwright, poet and children's writer from Guyana, who moved to the United Kingdom in 1977. He worked for the Commonwealth Institute from 1978 to 1985, travelling throughout the United Kingdom as a touring reader promoting the Caribbean culture to over 2000 schools. He currently resides in Lewes, near Brighton with his partner, the poet Grace Nichols. He became the first Writer in Residence at the South Bank Centre in London and became Poet in Residence at the BBC in London as well. He has won a total of five awards for his works, including the Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry in 1997 and the Cholmondeley Award in 2004. John was Poet-in-Residence at the National Maritime Museum from August to November 2008.

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Book Info


80 pages


John Agard
More books by John Agard


Publication date

3rd October 2013




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