Patience Agbabi

Renowned for her performances on page and stage, Patience’s poems have been broadcast on television and radio all over the world; her work has also appeared on the London Underground and on skin.

Telling Tales, her book-length sequence of poems based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, was written during her time as Canterbury Poet Laureate and shortlisted for The Poetry Society’s Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Other collections include R.A.W., Transformatrix, and Bloodshot Monochrome.

Patience has contributed to several notable anthologies, including the Best British Poetry series and Refugee Tales. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2017, and was Writer-in-Residence at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in 2018. She lives in London.

"I was delighted to be invited onto this project," she says. "I was already into Loathly Ladies, twice translating Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath into the voice of a contemporary Nigerian businesswoman. It was the Modern Fairies side of the project that whetted my appetite. During our first work session in Oxford, I was haunted, emotionally and physically, by stories of child changelings: human children stolen away and substituted with fairies."

Patience's exploration of the changeling theme resulted in her beautiful, terrifying poem "Double," capturing the anguish of a parent who no longer recognises her own child.

Related posts

We Dance to an Other Tempo, 14 January 2020

Artist of the Week - Patience Agbabi, 5 February 2019