Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

John Agard

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Language  English
Role  Playwright
Ethnicity  Afro-Guyanese
Nationality  British
Citizenship  Jamaican
Education  St Alban's Academy
Name  John Agard

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Born  21 June 1949 (age 66) British Guiana (1949-06-21)
Occupation  playwright, poet and children's writer
Nominations  Nestle Smarties Book Prize
Books  Half Caste, The Young Inferno, Alternative Anthem: Selected, We Brits, Weblines
Similar People  Grace Nichols, Jackie Kay, Benjamin Zephaniah, Simon Armitage, Imtiaz Dharker

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John Agard (born 21 June 1949 in British Guiana) is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in Britain. In 2012, he was selected for the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

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Background

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Agard grew up in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana). He loved to listen to cricket commentary on the radio and began making up his own, which led to a love of language. He went on to study English, French and Latin at A-level, writing his first poetry when he was in sixth-form, and left school in 1967. He taught the languages he had studied and worked in a local library. He was also a sub-editor and feature writer for the Guyana Sunday Chronicle, publishing two books while he was still in Guyana.

His father settled in London and Agard moved to Britain with his partner Grace Nichols in 1977, settling in Ironbridge, Shropshire. He worked for the Commonwealth Institute and the BBC in London.

His awards included the 1997 Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry, the Cholmondeley Award in 2004 and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2012.

Agard was Poet-in-Residence at the National Maritime Museum in 2008. His poems Half Caste and Checking Out Me History has been featured in the AQA English GCSE anthology since 2002, meaning that many students (aged 14 – 16) have studied his work for their GCSE English qualification.

He lives in Lewes, East Sussex, with his partner, the Guyanese poet Grace Nichols.[4]

Awards

  • 1982: Casa de las Américas Prize (Cuba) for Man to Pan
  • 1987: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (shortlist) for Lend Me Your Wings
  • 1995: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze Award) (6–8 years category) for We Animals Would Like a Word With You
  • 1997: Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry
  • 2004: Cholmondeley Award
  • 2007: British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year (shortlist) for We Brits
  • 2009: Centre for Literacy in Primary Education poetry award for The Young Inferno.
  • 2012: Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
  • Awards

  • 1982: Casa de las Américas Prize (Cuba) for Man to Pan
  • 1987: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (shortlist) for Lend Me Your Wings
  • 1995: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze Award) (6–8 years category) for We Animals Would Like a Word With You
  • 1997: Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry
  • 2004: Cholmondeley Award
  • 2007: British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year (shortlist) for We Brits
  • 2009: Centre for Literacy in Primary Education poetry award for The Young Inferno.
  • 2012: Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
  • References

    John Agard Wikipedia


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