Nicholas Laughlin

Johanna Lawshea

Nicholas Laughlin is the editor of the literary journal the Caribbean Review of Books and the culture and travel magazine Caribbean Beat. He is the program director of the Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and a co-director of Alice Yard, a nonprofit contemporary art space in Port of Spain. The Strange Years of My Life (Peepal Tree Press) is his latest collection of poetry. Despite the book’s title, these poems are rarely autobiographical and have few straightforward stories to tell. They puzzle over accidents, coincidences, and codes, as they describe journeys and wonders, edging towards a sense of the world’s curious strangeness, the complications of what we call history, the contretemps of geography. For these poems, every sentence is a kind of translation, and language is a series of riddles with no solutions, subtly humorous at one phrase, sinister at another, heartbroken at the next.