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A night of poetry with Raymond Antrobus: a journey through the deaf and hearing world

Winner of the 2018 Ted Hughes Award, Raymond Antrobus, came to the Intellectual Forum to deliver his poems in spoken-word and signed language to an enthralled audience.

Antrobus' most recent publication 'The Perseverance' was the first-ever poetry book to win the Rathbone Folio Award for best book in any genre. It explores his journey through the d/Deaf and hearing world and his relationship with language spoken, written, and signed. Raymond read a series of poems from this collection, using sign language as well as his voice to deliver them. Afterwards, Raymond answered a multitude of questions from the audience on topics including inspiration, family relationships, how being d/Deaf changes the way one interacts with the world, and how to be an ally to d/Deaf people. 

Raymond said: "It was great to visit Jesus College and share poems and talk with the students, teachers and other poets. I was glad about how open and willing people were to talk about craft and language as well as the politics and experiences of disability and poetry."

Director of the Intellectual Forum, Dr Julian Huppert said: "It was an immense pleasure to have Raymond speaking at the IF - he held the audience in rapt attention with his wonderful reading and discussion. An event to remember!"

Raymond's other accolades include the PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times & The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and Forward Prize. In 2018, he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for his poem 'Sound Machine'. Also, in 2019, his poem ‘Jamaican British’ was added to the GCSE syllabus.

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