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Summary Article: Nichols, Grace
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Guyanese poet. She won acclaim for her first collection I Is a Long Memoried Woman (1983), which was awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize; it was followed by The Fat Black Woman's Poems (1984). Her novel Whole of a Morning Sky (1986) gives a vivid account of a girl growing up in Guyana during the 1960s. Her books for younger readers include the poetry collections Leslyn in London (1984), Come on into My Tropical Garden (1988), The Poet Cat (2000), and Cosmic Disco (2013); and the short-story collection Baby Fish and Other Stories (1983).

In her first collection, I Is a Long Memoried Woman, she presented a broad-ranging history of the slave trade between Africa and the Americas, seen from a woman's point of view. The sense of tragedy and moral outrage are finely balanced with a belief in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. The poems in her other collections reflect, often humorously, on everyday life, both in Guyana and Britain, a distinctive theme being the experience of Caribbean immigrants to Britain, particularly women. In the collection The Fat Black Woman's Poems she created the persona of a large, outspoken black woman of indomitable spirit and energy who reflects wryly on life. Other collections include Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Woman (1989) and Picasso, I Want My Face Back (2009).

Nichols was born in Georgetown, Guyana; she went to university there and then worked as a teacher, journalist, and government official before moving to the UK in 1977.


Nichols, Grace

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