Wil Roach has completed the first book of a three-part memoir, Black Gay Underage: a Memoir of London. He has also had several short stories and essays published online.
As a poet, Wil appeared at the Sydney Writers Festival (2015), and has participated in and won several local spoken word events. He has produced three one-man shows with childhood themes, including in Sydney (2016) and the Adelaide Fringe Festival (2017). Wil is currently researching race, masculinity and sexuality for a series of long form essays.
Wil on writing memoir:
"Writing enables me to give voice to my untold stories, those that have existed for longer than I can remember. Ghost stories that I thought would remain shrouded in mystery have developed my writer’s voice so that these memories are made flesh and have then taken shape on the page. Now I can see myself more clearly and without sadness.
I owe my passion for telling and enacting stories to my parents and countless unseen but not unknown ancestral presences. I give the highest praise to them. When I was itching to escape from my father’s endless re-telling of how he met my mother or went to school barefoot during Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial era, little did I know that I too, with initial reluctance and now with utter confidence, would be telling stories to others who sometimes itch to run away!
Yet in setting my early childhood story to paper, I’ve healed the disappointment I felt when entering a library during my teenage years, I found none of my father’s stories or anything like them in any books I handled there. I would pull open a book, any book, in the hope that a suggestive title might unlock a glorious reflection on what I recognised as our Caribbean lives lived in London. For so many years this was not the case – until now, when my own story has been published to rectify some part of that vacuum in knowledge."