RIP Roi Kwabena

Birmingham Words has an obituary for Roi Kwabena who died recently.


“Roi was one of those people who defied all attempts at classification: cultural activist, poet, poet laureate of Birmingham in 2001-2002, anthropologist, historian, publisher, campaigner against racism and former senator in the parliament of Trindad and Tobago. As an artist, Roi was entirely unclassifable, defying convention and expectation, but doing so with an unusual warmth and grace.”


Also on the web:
Roi’s weblog last updated in November.
Birminghanm Poet Laureate page.
Wikipedia entry.
Literature of the Caribbean containing numerous works.
Website devoted to his work.


  1. no way. he used to come in to temple reprographics during the time he was laureate and whilst i worked there. he was printing a book as i recall. and although i didn’t know him and wasn’t even the one who was dealing with his work, he always seemed like he was pleased to see me and greeted me with his huge smile and a few kind words – so that has saddened me.
    what did he die of? he wasn’t very old was he?

  2. Roi died of Lung Cancer, diagnosed one day before his death. he was being treated for pneumonia. He was a good friend, mulit-talented drummer, poet, writer. He taught us things we didn’t know and reminded us of things we forgot. I met him during Caribbean focu, took him under my wing and introduced him to numerous people.

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