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A potent and effective book, a work of passion and integrity.

Times Literary Supplement

Kamau Brathwaite

Contemporary Caribbean writer

Edward Kamau Brathwaite (1930– ) is a Caribbean writer and critic who writes on the experience of black cultural life throughout the worldwide African diaspora. Born in Bridgetown, Barbados, Brathwaite was educated in Barbados and England and has received numerous awards for his poetry and cultural studies, including both Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships. He has been a professor of Comparative Literature at New York University since 1992 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sussex in 2002.

Ds (2)

Poetry by Kamau Brathwaite

In DS (2)Dreamstories 2—Kamau Brathwaite continues his ongoing collection of prose poems, comprised of the broken images, flow, and half-told stories of dreams. The poetic stories in DS (2) use Brathwaite’s trademark sycorax video style, offering personal revelations mixed with political and historical fables occurring around the globe. Brathwaite’s prose poems relate with ardency and pathos the Caribbean experience and are a potent voice of the African diaspora. Nathaniel Mackey wrote: "Kamau Brathwaite’s ’calibanic play’ reveals a fiendish delight in the slippage to which words are prone." And American Book Review wrote: "In its rhythms as well as its explorations of ’nation language’ and of the traces of an African past, this is a populist work." This exciting new offering by Kamau Brathwaite follows on the heels of the publication of Brathwaite’s Born to Slow Horses, which won the coveted 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize. "To read Kamau Brathwaite is to enter into an entire world of human histories and natural histories, beautiful landscapes and their destruction, children’s street songs, high lyricism, court documents, personal letters, literary criticism, sacred rites, eroticism and violence, the dead and the undead, confession and reportage...Brathwaite has invented a new linguistic music for subject matter that is all his own."—Citation for the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize


Poetry by Kamau Brathwaite

Ancestors startlingly reinvents one of the most important long poems of our hemisphere. Here in a single volume is Kamau Brathwaite’s long unavailable, landmark trilogy––Mother Poem, Sun Poem, and X/Self (1977, 1982, and 1987)––now completely revised and expanded by the author. With its "Video Sycorax" typographic inventions and linguistic play, Ancestors liberates both the language and the new-Caliban vision of the poet. In its fresh and more experimental form the trilogy embodies the recapture (what the poet has called the "intercovery") of Brathwaite’s African/Caribbean ancestry as a possession of power and renewal, even as it plumbs the deep tonalities of enslavement, oppression, and colonial dispossession.

Available: June 01 2001

Black + Blues

Poetry by Kamau Brathwaite

Kamau Brathwaite, who won the 1994 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, has revised his celebrated 1979 Casa de las Americas collection, Black + Blues, for its first edition by a U.S. publisher. A rich, arid, beautiful collection, Black + Blues is cast in three parts — “Fragments," "Drought," and "Flowers." In Brathwaite’s voice, as The Beloit Poetry Journal noted, "the false distinctions between poetry and polemic, between tragic vision and comic insight, between anger and tenderness, here disappear. At last a major poet of our troubled history and troubling time is available to readers in this country." “His dazzling, inventive language, his tragic yet unquenchable vision," as Adrienne Rich declared, "make Kamau Brathwaite one of the most compelling of late 20th century poets."

Available: December 01 1995

Middle Passages

Poetry by Kamau Brathwaite

Kamau Brathwaite’s poetry offers stunning collages devoted to the history, mythology, and language of the African diaspora, and has gained him a world reputation. Middle Passages, his most recent collection, is his sixteenth poetry volume, but his first with an American publisher. With notes of protest and lament, the fourteen poems of Middle Passages address the effects of the Middle Passage of slavery on the New World, and celebrate great musicians (Ellington, Bessie Smith), poets, heroes of the resistance, and Third World leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Walter Rodney, and Nelson Mandela. And as the London Times Literary Supplement noted, it is "a poetry that moves between rage and tenderness, doubt and displacement to affirmation... Middle Passages is a potent and effective book, a work of passion and integrity."

Available: January 01 1993