Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 34

Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island


John Agard

November 16th, 2014

Episode 460 of 567 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the poet John Agard. His work is studied widely in British schools. He was the BBC's first poet in residence and along with WH Auden and Philip Larkin, he's a recipient of The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Born in Guyana he arrived here in the mid-1970s already playing with words like some people play with musical notes. If his style is often satirical, his subjects provide wincing realism - examining the scars of slavery or the historical myopia of a shared past judged solely through European eyes. He says he believes that "the poet keeps us in touch with the vulnerable core of language that makes us what we are." Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Featured Podcast