City's former Poet Laureate launches new romantic collection

Posted on Monday 7th November 2011

Acclaimed poet Roshan Doug is to launch his latest anthology at the University of Birmingham later this month. What Light is Light… is Roshan’s fifth collection of poetry and marks a change in direction for the esteemed writer who enters the realm of romantic poetry for the first time.

Stepping away from his autobiographical and political roots, Roshan describes his new collection as a ‘lyrical sequence of poems about the ephemeral nature of the universe.’ Personal loss, the frailty of life and the stages of life are all key themes explored within the new collection inspired by a Shakespearean quote. The collection contemplates the meaning of loss and love, exploring the themes of hope and the human spirit.

Roshan, who was appointed as Birmingham’s fifth poet laureate in 2000, is currently undertaking postgraduate research at the University of Birmingham. His research is investigating the politics and teaching of poetry on the National Curriculum and he cites this study as an influence on his new work. 

He explains:

“When you get to a certain age you stop caring if you’re writing for other people or yourself, you just write because it’s from the heart – it matters. Poetry matters – real poetry, not just the stuff we had to read at school. It says something about us as human beings sharing a journey of love, life and living.

“My research raises questions about what is a poem and what is its purpose? I believe poetry challenges us and our understanding of the world and good poetry sometimes defines our vision, making things easier to see and deal with. I’m hoping my contribution, in the form of this collection, does just that.”

Dr Nick Peim, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s School of Education adds:

“Roshan’s research is looking at the experience of poetry in education at a time when the English curriculum is limited by powerful external forces and when assessment dominates teaching and learning. This is vitally important work. The fact that Roshan is a practising poet of distinction lends a particular force to the meaning and impact of his research. Roshan’s poetry and research both suggest another space for educational practice beyond the enclosure of tests, measurements and pre-determined goals.”

What Light is Light… is to be launched at the University of Birmingham’s School of Education, room G39 on Monday 21 November at 6.00pm. Roshan will be reading poems from his new collection and answering questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public and there will be light refreshments available.

To reserve a place, please contact Mr Doug via enquiries@roshandoug.com by Thursday 17 November.

Notes to Editors

• Roshan Doug is available for interview; please contact the Press Office to arrange.

For media enquiries, please contact Amy Cory, University of Birmingham Press Office, via 0121 414 6029 or

a.cory@bham.ac.uk.