John Agard Biography
(1949– ), Mangoes & Bullets, Shoot Me with Flowers, Man to Pan, Limbo Dancer in Dark Glasses
Guyanese poet, born in British Guiana; he came to England in 1977, where he has worked as a Touring Lecturer for the Common-wealth Institute in London. His poems, often expressed in vernacular and dialect, are written primarily for performance. He is at his best when amusingly satirical. Poems like ‘Listen Mr Oxford Don’ and ‘English Girl Eats Her First Mango’, for instance, challenge preconceptions about Caribbean culture. Mangoes & Bullets (1985) includes new poems as well as those from such earlier collections as Shoot Me with Flowers (1973), Man to Pan (1982), Limbo Dancer in Dark Glasses (1983), and Palm Tree King (1983). Later books include Lovelines for a Goat-Born Lady (1990) and numerous books for children, including Laughter Is an Egg (1990) and Grandfather's Old Bruk-a-Down Car (1994). He is also the editor of Life Doesn't Frighten Me at All (1989). See also Dub poetry.