Biography of Grace Nichols
Grace Nichols (born 1950) is a Guyanese poet, whose first collection, I is a Long-Memoried Woman (1983), won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize.
Grace Nichols was born in Georgetown, Guyana, and lived in a small village on the country's coast until her family moved to the city when she was eight years old. She took a Diploma in Communications from the University of Guyana, and subsequently worked as a teacher (1967–70), as a journalist and in government information services, before she emigrated to the UK in 1977. Much of her poetry is characterised by Caribbean rhythms and culture, and influenced by Guyanese and Amerindian folklore.
Her first collection of poetry, I is a Long-Memoried Woman won the 1983 Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She has written several further books of poetry and a novel for adults, Whole of a Morning Sky, 1986. Her books for children include collections of short stories and poetry anthologies. Her latest work, of new and selected poems, is Startling the Flying Fish, 2006. Her poetry is featured in the AQA, WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee), and Edexcel English/English Literature GCSE anthologies - meaning that many GCSE students in the UK have studied her work. Her religion is Christianity after she was influenced by the UK's many religions and multi-cultural society.
She lives in Lewes, East Sussex, with her partner, the Guyanese poet John Agard.
Grace Nichols Poems
Lying on the sofa all curled and meek but in my furry-fuzzy head
Like a Beacon
In London every now and then I get this craving for my mother's food
Forest could keep secrets Forest could keep secrets Forest tune in every day to watersound and birdsound
Like a Beacon
every now and then
I get this craving
for my mother's food
I leave art galleries
in search of plantains
I need this link
I need this touch
swinging my bag
like a beacon
against the cold