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Bookseller interview with Marvin Thompson: 'How could I be a poet if Black artists did not exist?'

The Bookseller features a wonderful interview with Peepal Tree poet Marvin Thompson. The interview is available in print and online now.

Unfortunately, due to my schooling, I grew up believing that great Black people were incapable of creating great art. How could I be a poet if Black artists did not exist? Luckily, I found two role models in my twenties. The first was the African American saxophonist John Coltrane. His wondrous, avant-garde jazz
was a revelation. Then I discovered the sonnets, sestinas and iambic pentameters of Patience Agbabi.

Influenced by Agbabi, Coltrane and the political ideas of my parents, I was able to craft a début poetry collection that celebrates Blackness and the beauty of diversity.

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