Forty years ago, he was an altar boy at Saint Stanislaus College in Georgetown. Today he is the best known (and easily the busiest) black poet in Britain. Last autumn, the Guyanese/UK Diaspora honoured John Agard with an inaugural High Commission Award but this was just the latest in his long list of awards. In 1989, he was awarded an Arts Council Bursary and in 1993, he became the first Writer-in-Residence at London’s South Bank Centre. In 1998, he was Poet-in-Residence for the BBC with the Windrush Project which chronicled the fiftieth anniversary of the first West Indian mass migration to Britain. He himself joined the move to the UK in 1977 after growing up in Guyana. Those early days have stayed with him all of his life: “My childhood in Guyana formed my consciousness. It is part of my mental landscape” he says.