(Originally published at

Birmingham, England: Roi Kwabena was born in Trinidad in 1956 and came to Britain in 1985 after political and cultural activity in his home country. As a poet, musician, storyteller, historian and publisher, Roi describes himself as a “cultural activist”.

He has performed with Hugh Masekela, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Opai Adisa Palmer among others. He has lectured, performed and conducted workshops in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa in universities, schools, libraries and other venues. His published work includes collections of poems and spoken word and music CDs in a distinctive style of dialogue, drama and rhythm.

He performed his poem about Birmingham, Location: Re for National Poetry Day in the Library Theatre and, on his appointment as Poet Laureate, was presented with a symbolic hammer and palette by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Jim Whorwood (right). He recently wrote a poem for National Holocaust Day 2002.

To view the works of Roi Kwabena, visit his pages at