Remembering the Ship in Citizenship: An Evening with John Agard
This free evening event rounds off a day-long conference on The Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context, offering us an opportunity to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Windrush and to reflect on the contributions of the so-called ‘Windrush Generation’ to British society.
One of Agard’s famous poems implores us to ‘remember the ship in citizenship’ and fittingly offers us the title of this evening’s event.
Agard was born in British Guiana (present-day Guyana) in 1949 and has lived in the UK since 1977 working for the Commonwealth Institute and the BBC. He is the winner of the 1997 Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry and the 2021 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In November 2021 he became the first poet to be awarded the Book Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His works have featured on the AQA English GCSE syllabus since 2002. He has been engaged in a wide range of Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange initiatives, including serving as poet-in-residence at the National Maritime Museum in 2008. One of his famous poems implores us to ‘remember the ship in citizenship’ and fittingly offers us the title of this evening’s event.
Tobago Crusoe is a calypsonian, composer, musician and a performing artist with over 30 years experience. He won the Calypso Crown in 1983 with “Don’t Cry Now” and “South Africa”. Crusoe is well-regarded for his extempo mastery and ranks with the best in the artform. His compositions are unique and thought provoking and he has appeared in the films Paddington and Paddington 2 and the CD of the same name. Crusoe was the Calypsonian-in-Residence at London Is The Place For Me Caribbean festival at the British Library in 2018. Currently the lead singer of Calypso outfit ‘Tobago and D’Lime’ he was awarded with a position in the Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame for his contribution to Calypso music (2011).