Grace Nichols

(1950 / Georgetown, Guyana)

Biography of Grace Nichols

Grace Nichols poet

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[1] 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.

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Like a Beacon

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every now and then
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for my mother's food
I leave art galleries
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saltfish/sweet potatoes

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