A stunning debut

Written by Steven Waling for Magma Poetry, Issue 79 on Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Many of Marvin Thompson’s poems in his debut collection Road Trip start off in familiar family settings, but then spin off into more troubling territory to explore the Black British experience with an often forensic attention to detail that sets the reader off-balance.


The Welsh landscape and his memories of the urban landscape become melded into a meditation on the environment, on growing up black in Britain and bringing up his own children.


An energy pulses through [the poems] that is only just held in check by the forms he chooses to use. His use of English metrics adds to the effect, such as Skeltonics in the opening sequence. The adapted villanelles of Whilst Searching for Anansi is a carefully chosen strategy that gives the poems an effective and subtle counterpoint. A stunning debut.