Road Trip explores Caribbean identity

Written by Andre Bagoo for Newsday on Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Marvin Thompson’s [poems] tumble like a waterfall. In Road Trip, a stunning, unforgettable book with a strong sense of place, some of the best moments come from how the poet, who lives in Wales but was born in London to Jamaican parents, deploys skeltonic verse of increasing intensity. The opening lines are short, just a few syllables, and paired. But the deeper we go, the more echoes and rhymes begin to emerge, as though the accretion of musical experience itself. Call it jazz.


Thompson is concerned with the Caribbean self, but from the perspective of someone on the other side of the Atlantic. For this poet, it is the loss of a father, something which hurts particularly at Christmas time, that is the beginning of his inquiry.