Poetry. Winner of the 2014 Cider Press Review Editors' Prize. "In FIELD WORK, Sarah Estes accomplishes that remarkable trick the best poets have mastered: to fully embody and give voice to the notion of life as inconclusive and unsatisfying, and yet, to do so with poetry of doggedly fierce aliveness and beauty."—Kwame Dawes, author of DUPPY CONQUEROR: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) "In FIELD WORK, Sarah Estes presents us with poems that are grounded in family and in place without being tethered or bound ... This is a book both disturbing and comforting, melancholy and full of beauty."—Ruth Foley, Managing Editor, Cider Press Review
From the southern influence on nineteenth-century New York to the musical legacy of late-twentieth-century Athens, Georgia, to the cutting-edge cuisines of twenty-first-century Asheville, North Carolina, the bohemian South has long contested traditional views of the region. Yet, even as the fruits of this creative South have famously been celebrated, exported, and expropriated, the region long was labeled a cultural backwater. This timely and illuminating collection uses bohemia as a novel lens for reconsidering more traditional views of the South. Exploring wide-ranging locales, such as Athens, Austin, Black Mountain College, Knoxville, Memphis, New Orleans, and North Carolina's Research Triangle, each essay challenges popular interpretations of the South, while highlighting important bohemian sub- and countercultures. The Bohemian South provides an important perspective in the New South as an epicenter for progress, innovation, and experimentation. Contributors include Scott Barretta, Shawn Chandler Bingham, Jaime Cantrell, Jon Horne Carter, Alex Sayf Cummings, Lindsey A. Freeman, Grace E. Hale, Joanna Levin, Joshua Long, Daniel S. Margolies, Chris Offutt, Zandria F. Robinson, Allen Shelton, Daniel Cross Turner, Zackary Vernon, and Edward Whitley.
Carrie Shipers’s Cause for Concern traverses a landscape of assorted disasters—such as overwork and layoffs, the ill-fated explorer, circus mishaps, nuclear disaster and radiation—but at its heart is the personal disaster of spousal illness. While a spouse might avow faith in the sentiment of love in sickness and in health, the practice of such faith might come undone when faced with the reality of the ravages of illness on the stricken body of the beloved, alongside the caregiving mate who “could love/ [her] husband but distrust his body,/ expect betrayal at every turn.” Full of incisive meditations on frailties and fortitude often delivered with visceral honesty, Cause for Concern is spellbinding from start to finish and, deservedly, the winner of the 2014 Able Muse Book Award for Poetry. PRAISE FOR CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Carrie Shipers’s magnificent endeavor aims to control the uncontrollable. In her splendid collection Cause for Concern she gives us her spirited poems—subversively satisfying in our era of cool wordplay. Both her comfort with ambiguity and her sassy candor aid the poet as she writes of a wife who is hoodwinked into a necessary patience—one she both chafes from and rebels against after her husband falls seriously ill. In rhythms that alternate between hope and defeat, the poems track the illness, but also punctuate the couple’s changed world with quirky observations and a scrappy spirituality. (Not to mention a canine companion.) Her poet’s craft, palpable in every arresting line, makes the subtlest turns of vulnerability with enviable poise. —Molly Peacock, 2014 Able Muse Book Award judge, author of The Paper Garden Only a poet of unquestionable bravery and technical acuity could rehearse the quotidian details of a middle class, middle aged existence with such exquisite, irresistible and terrifying honesty. —Kwame Dawes, author of Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems If illness is a country inhospitable to guests, then Carrie Shipers’s second poetry collection, Cause for Concern, is our guidebook, preparing us for what we will find in the waiting room, by the bedside, in the bathroom, or on the skin when the gauze is lifted. These are naked, open poems. They say things that make us wince, as when we look at an incision still puckered and red. Shipers reminds us that our lives must first be prodded and cauterized, if the injured parts are ever to heal. —Jehanne Dubrow, author of The Arranged Marriage
At the heart of acclaimed poet Lorna Goodison’s seventh book of poetry – her first published in Canada – is music, moving from a slow ska, a hard rocksteady, and a sweetie-come-brush-me bossanova, to line and sight gratitude psalms, lionheart outlaw anthems, and Miles Davis, blown by the winds to a concert in Berlin. Many of the poems are about those not heard or less counted, those who live in places like the favelas of Rio or the Kingston slum called Moonlight City. Goodison chronicles how “from shameports we passed through whale-belly nights of no return”, or from prison through the fields of Tecumseh on a Greyhound bus to Detroit. And she journeys, as they must have, to hell, this time in a marvellous translation of the canto about Brunetto Latini from Dante’s Inferno, where she meets Mr. Brown, a Jamaican duppy conqueror from her own land of look behind. Set mainly in her native Jamaica but universal in its concerns, this book, rare and special, is the real thing.
In this fascinating book, Mark Stein examines "black British literature," centering on a body of work created by British-based writers with African, South Asian, or Caribbean cultural backgrounds. Linking black British literature to the bildungsroman genre, this study examines the transformative potential inscribed in and induced by a heterogeneous body of texts. Capitalizing on their plural cultural attachments, these texts portray and purvey the transformation of post-imperial Britain. Stein locates his wide-ranging analysis in both a historical and a literary context. He argues that a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach is essential to understanding post-colonial culture and society. The book relates black British literature to ongoing debates about cultural diversity, and thereby offers a way of reading a highly popular but as yet relatively uncharted field of cultural production. With the collapse of its empire, with large-scale immigration from former colonies, and with ever-increasing cultural diversity, Britain underwent a fundamental makeover in the second half of the twentieth century. This volume cogently argues that black British literature is not only a commentator on and a reflector of this makeover, but that it is simultaneously an agent that is integral to the processes of cultural and social change. Conceptualizing the novel of transformation, this comprehensive study of British black literature provides a compelling analytic framework for charting these processes.
Towards a New Reggae Aesthetic in Caribbean Writing
Author: Kwame Senu Neville Dawes
Publisher: Peepal Tree PressLtd
Category: Literary Criticism
Kwame Dawes speaks for all those for whom reggae defines the major experiences of life. He describes how reggae has been central to his sense of selfhood, his consciousness of place and society in Jamaica, his development as a writer - and why the singer Ken Boothe should be inseparably connected to his discovery of the erotic. Natural Mysticism is also a work of acute cultural analysis. Dawes argues that in the rise of roots reggae in the 1970s, Jamaica produced a form which was both wholly of the region and universal in its concerns. He contrasts this with the mainstream of Caribbean literature which, whilst anticolonial in sentiment was frequently conservative and colonial in form. Dawes finds in reggae's international appeal more than just an encouraging example. In the work of artists such as Don Drummond, Bob Marley, Winston Rodney and Lee "Scratch" Perry, he finds a complex aesthetic whose inner structure points in a genuinely contemporary and postcolonial direction. In constructing this reggae aesthetic, Kwame Dawes both creates a rationale for the development of his own writing and brings a new and original critical method to the discussion of the work of other contemporary Caribbean authors.