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The Basquiat of contemporary writing, Ronnie McGrath’s DATA TRACE is a collection of innovative poetry that sheds light on the changing nature of a poet’s identity and his experience of growing up in Britain. It is an earnest look at the ‘self’ as raced and un-raced, sexualised and un-sexualised, gendered and yet stripped to the bone of an impossibility to define ‘self’ in a fast and forever changing world.
A celebration of the new, DATA TRACE is a peek into the fecund mind of a poet whose work is complex and yet accessible, welcomingly fresh and stubbornly vibrant in its attempt to capture the sensibility of contemporary Britain. The connoisseur of innovative writing will note the rich and varied palette of a writer who is informed by such literary movements as DADA, Surrealism, Afro-Futurism, Speculative Fiction and experimentation. Reminiscent of the writings of such poets as Clarence Major, Jayne Cortez, Bob Kaufman, The Last Poets, Cecil Taylor and Gil-Scot Heron, to mention but a few, DATA TRACE is best described as Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson infused with a post-Caribbean, postmodern and post Black British sensibility. Undoubtedly this is tomorrow’s poetry for the lover of contemporary writing.
‘As a surrealist poet Ronnie McGrath is forever experimenting with the shape, rhythm and sound. Ronnie bends language because as he says reality is up for grabs. It is Ronnie’s courage to take risks with the landscape of the word that produces work, which touches our hearts and touches our soul.’ —Michael McMillan
‘Poetry is a spoken art. Ronnie McGrath speaks-sings!-poetry with great authority. In the blazing tradition of The Last Poets, McGrath is a powerful performance poet. He’s also a wonderfully gifted sculptor-an artist of social consciousness; an artist on many, many fronts. Listen to him! He will inspire you.’ —Clarence Major