Roger Robinson is a writer who has performed worldwide. He is the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2019 and the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020, and is a RSL Fellow. He was chosen by Decibel as one of fifty writers who have influenced the Black-British writing canon. His latest collection A Portable Paradise was a New Statesman book of the year. He is an alumnus of The Complete Works and was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas Poetry Prize, the Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize, commended by the Forward Poetry Prize and is currently shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry 2020. He has received commissions from the National Trust, London Open House, BBC, the National Portrait Gallery, V&A, INIVA, MK Gallery and Theatre Royal Stratford East where he also was associate artist. He is co-founder of both Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.
The Job of Paradise
It is the job of Paradise to comfort those who’ve been left behind, to think that all those loved and lost would live on there like tiny gods. It is the job of mumbled prayers to help you calm your hurts and fears. It is the job of the long black hearse to show we head to death from birth. It is the job of a clean neat grave to remind us how to live our days. If only I could live my days till death suffice and make Earth feel like Paradise.
From A Portable Paradise (Peepal Press, 2019)