Fives logo – a stylised number five

with Raymond Antrobus

The last thing that made you smile

In BSL (British Sign Language) class my teacher taught us about affirmation and negation, saying, in sign, if you are crying and someone asks you, “Are you crying?” you must answer with a smile and nod to affirm, yes I am crying.

A secret

You have no idea how often I turn off my hearing aids and zone out at bad parties and poetry readings.

The last thing you wrote

I’m four drafts deep on a new Sestina poem. I’m kind of obsessed with repetition right now so I’m taking on forms that use it. I have no idea if my Sestina works yet but I have some readings this week to test it on an audience. Hopefully no one turns off their hearing aids.

Your favourite city

Maybe Cape Town or Lisbon.

What you’d place in a time capsule

My father’s rice and peas with Akee and Saltfish and a letter my grandmother wrote about how it feels to be young.

Raymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet, performer, editor and educator, born and bred in East London, Hackney. His poems have been published in magazines and literary journals such as POETRY, Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, and others. His critically acclaimed second pamphlet, To Sweeten Bitter (2017) is published by Outspoken Press. His debut poetry collection will be published by Penned In The Margins (2018).