The printed word doesn't rise much closer to singing than in the work of Barbadian troubadour Kamau Brathwaite... Brathwaite's voice is as fierce as it is musical. He charges words with unmistakable voltage, and brands them on our tongues. Perched as we are between an Old World Order and the New, this is just the kind of poetry Williams had in mind when he said that men die for the lack of what is to be found there.—Village Voice Literary Supplement
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."