'evoking anger and quizzical questioning'

Written by Richard Price for New West Indian Guide on Friday, September 18th, 2020

In Marvin Thompson’s Road Trip (Leeds: Peepal Tree Press 2019, paper £9.99), his debut collection, this Black British poet, living in Wales, questions his identity: “my confusion: / born in London / was I English / like school’s / niggers out / graffiti? / Did my parents / make me Jamaican?” Concerned about the ways his Mixed Race children fit in—“Will Britain learn to love my children’s melanin?”—he writes poems with titles such as “Whilst Searching for Anansi with my Mixed Race Children in the Blaen Bran Community Woodland.” Throughout the collection, which features some inventive stories, hangs the legacy of colonialism and empire, sometimes evoking anger, sometimes a quizzical questioning.