You Have You Father Hard Head
Colin Robinson’s long-awaited debut collection, You Have You Father Hard Head, represents a nuanced but unswerving engagement with desire and intimacy as he explores what it means to be a Caribbean son negotiating the complexities of relationships between men.
Colin Robinson
ISBN number
Country setting
Trinidad and Tobago
Publication date
11 Jul 2016

In poems of generous vulnerability and intimacy, Robinson captures the voice of boys on whose spirits and “hard heads” their mothers live out the memory of their fathers. Robinson’s verse, which is acutely aware of the troubled history of race, politics and identity in Caribbean society, is taut, ironic, and richly evocative of various landscapes and cultures that have shaped him over the years. He manages to sustain a tonal authenticity in these polyvalent poems that make use of both terse epigrammatic forms and longer, expansive narrative forms.

Uniquely, and importantly, You Have You Father Hard Head, breaks new ground in Caribbean poetry as it explores with distinctively Caribbean candour, wit and irony themes of sexual love between men and views of life with HIV. Here is poetry of admirable honesty and acute self-awareness:

i have never felt safe in manhood
and thirty years since
i last set foot in queens park oval
just below the surface
of my grand gesture of godfatherhood
is the panic like that day
at being discovered as a fake
or worse
discovered to be faking

(“Manhood at the Oval”)


Colin Robinson

Colin Robinson has just published his first collection of poetry. He lives in Trinidad and Tobago, to which he has returned twice, from Leeds at age 4, and Brooklyn at age 45.
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