John Agard is a poet, playwright, short story and children’s literature writer. Agard was born in 1949 in British Guiana (now Guyana) and worked for the Guyana Sunday Chronicle as an editor and writer before moving to England in 1977, where he worked as a lecturer for the Commonwealth Institute. Now a staple on the UK’s GCSE curriculum, Agard rose to prominence in the UK’s poetry scene in 1982 with his prize-winning collection Man to Pan. The book introduced the world to Agard’s trademark playful, imaginative style and his musicality. Since then he has had over 50 books published, each showcasing his ability to address diverse subject matters including race, ethnicity, morality, Caribbean heritage, British culture, ancient mythology, and the literary canon in a blend of free verse and traditional forms - and often with humour. Poet and novelist David Dabydeen has described Agard’s poetry as ‘a wonderful affirmation of life, in a language that is vital and joyous’. Agard has received many awards in his lifetime, including the prestigious Cholmondeley Award in 2003 for his contributions to poetry, and in 2012, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award by BookTrust in 2021. He lives in Lewes with his wife, the poet Grace Nichols.