The Winner of the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize: Raymond Antrobus

The 33-year old spoken-word poet Raymond Antrobus is tonight, Monday, 20th May, named the winner of the £30,000 Rathbones Folio Prize, for his debut collection, The Perseverance. It is the first time the prize – which rewards the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form – has been awarded to a poet.

The Perseverance – published by the small press Penned in the Margins – ranges across history and continents to explore issues as wide-ranging as the poet’s diagnosis with deafness as a child, mixed heritage experience, masculinity, and his beloved father’s alcoholism and later decline into dementia and death. Last month, the book, which contains a fierce challenge of Ted Hughes’s description of deaf children, was given the Ted Hughes Award. It was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize, the Jhalak Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award.

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