Read Lisa Allen Agostini's Newsday feature on Colin Robinson
His poetry has also appeared in Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts & Letters (2003), Caribbean Erotic: Poetry, Prose, & Essays (2011), The Caribbean Writer (2014), Corpus: an HIV Prevention Publication (2006), Moko: Caribbean Arts & Letters (2013), Other Countries: Black Gay Voices (1988), Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (2008), The Road Before Us: 100 Black Gay Poets (1991), Sx Salon: A Small Axe Literary Platform (2014), Tout Moun: Caribbean Journal of Cultural Studies (2014), Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Writing (2007), Zócalo’s “Five Poets from Trinidad & Tobago” (2012); and Peekash Press’s 2015 anthology, Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean.
He performed at The Page Meets the Stage, a NGC Bocas Lit Fest South programme of the anthology’s Trinbagonian writers with spoken word artists; and was selected for the festival’s “Who’s Next” showcase in 2014.
His years of organizing work with the 30-year-old New York City writing community Other Countries, and its predecessor the Blackheart Collective, anchor his journey as a poet and editor. He shepherded the premiere Other Countries issue to a 1988 US Council of Literary Magazines & Presses seed award. He was an editor for 1980s issues of US Black Gay serials; and conceived and co-edited Think Again, the 2003 HIV think-piece from AIDS Project Los Angeles and the New York State Black Gay Network, and “Firing the Canon”, a 2015 special issue of Moko: Caribbean Arts & Letters. He writes a column for the Guardian, Trinidad & Tobago’s oldest newspaper; wrote stories for Boston’s Gay Community News; and his provocative essays, including “An Archaeology of Grief: the fear of remembering Joe Beam” (2015), “Coming Out as Illegal” (2006), “Holding onto Another Jamaica” (2006), “Homophobia Causes AIDS” (2005) and “Decolonizing Sexual Citizenship” have appeared in such publications as Aché: A Journal of Black Lesbians (1990), Caribbean Review of Gender Studies (2009), Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS (1993), and the Commonwealth Opinion series (2012).
He was part of the 1996 season of the writing-dance collaboration Toenails of Steel & Ruby Red Text, toured in 1996 with dance company Evidence, whose choreographer Ronald K Brown used his poetry in the work “Lessons”; collaborated on two films which feature his work, Riding Boundaries by Trinidadian Sekou Charles, which premiered at Erotic Art week in 2011, and Anthem (1990), by AfricanAmerican filmmaker Marlon Riggs; and he served as a field producer for Riggs’s landmark 1989 documentary Tongues Untied. He co-created the first three of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “A Day Without Art” responses to World AIDS Day (1989-91), and the Kumble Theater 2006 production celebrating Other Countries’s 20th anniversary and its 1980s/90s programme that took writers’ work into danceclubs, community centres, élite academic institutions and an emerging performance circuit.
His imagination has also guided public policy, community organising and organisational development projects focused on sexual citizenship and health justice for over 35 years, in both the Caribbean and the US, where he lived illegally for a decade. Currently he works with CAISO in Trinidad & Tobago, and in the past with the Audre Lorde Project, Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders & Sexualities, Center for Gay & Lesbian Studies, Gay Men of African Descent, GMHC, New York City Board of Education AIDS Advisory Council, Rainbow Repertory Theater, Trinidad & Tobago Office of the Chief Personnel Officer and Ministry of Labour, OutRight Action International, and University of the West Indies. In 2000, he was selected Grand Marshal for the Brooklyn Pride Parade.
He grew up in Diego Martin, Trinidad, where he graduated from St. Mary’s College with the 1979 open national scholarship in modern languages, and holds university degrees in anthropology and management from New York University and The New School.
His writing is a search, as Audre Lorde framed it, for words he does “not yet have”, for desire, belonging, location and language itself.
Titles featuring Colin Robinson
- Coming Up Hot: 8 new poets from the CaribbeanPrice: £8.99
- You Have You Father Hard HeadPrice: £8.99