Andre Bagoo: For the Love of Language


Here are excerpts of MACO’s review of Trinidadian poet Andre Bagoo, author of collections such as Trick Vessels, BURN, and, more recently, The City of Dreadful Night.

[. . .] When Bagoo left Trinidad to study law at King’s College, London, his life’s trajectory seemed clear. Yet, London filled him with a love of literature, not legislation. Subliminally influenced by that distinctive story of the Caribbean person in London, the narrative of the Windrush generation, Bagoo immersed himself in the theatre and in writing.

[. . .] After the personal renaissance of London, it seemed impossible that Bagoo would become a lawyer. He returned home and wrote obsessively. Months passed. This was not how the story was supposed to go. “My mother started to complain,” Bagoo recalls. She said, “You need to get a job.” Cajoled into seeking employment, Bagoo perused the major newspapers; all were advertising for a court reporter.  A job Bagoo applied for at his mother’s request ballooned into a 10-year career.

It has been a year and a half since Bagoo wrote his resignation letter—not a poem, but an important piece of writing. “What has since ensued has been a period of saying yes to every single thing that I have never had the courage to do in my life before,” he explains. “I have explored the visual arts, the visual poem… dance.” Naturally, Bagoo’s ideas have begun to evolve. “There is language in everything, be it dance, be it visual art… be it a very dry report,” he explains. His latest collection, The City of Dreadful Night, is a book-length visual poem sequence, which explodes traditional interpretations of language. [. . .]

For full review, see

Also see

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