Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
Carcanet Press is our most courageous publisher. When you look at what they have brought out since their beginnings, it makes so many other houses seem timid or merely predictable.
Charles Tomlinson

Jason Allen-Paisant

Author Photo of Jason Allen-Paisant
Books by this author: Thinking with Trees
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Jason Allen-Paisant is from a village called Coffee Grove in Manchester, Jamaica. At present, he’s a lecturer in Caribbean Poetry & Decolonial Thought in the School of English at the University of Leeds, where he’s also the Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. He serves on the editorial board of Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. He holds a doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford, and he speaks seven languages. He lives in Leeds with his partner and two daughters.
    'As he cuts a radical response to the pastoral in a Leeds forest where dogs are welcomed but black men are suspect, he echoes June Jordan's 40-year-old question, "suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/ or far into the woods I wanted to go?"'

    Martina Evans, Irish Times Best Books of the Year 2021

    'The power of this expansive, original book is in its attention to the ways in which a sense of leisure, territory and belonging is an implicit, racialised underpinning in the long tradition of nature writing ... Thinking with Trees is an expansive, fracturing, subversive book.'

    Sean Hewitt, The Irish Times

    'A remarkable work... It's a stunning debut collection'

    Richard Price & Sally Price, 'Bookshelf 2021', New West Indian Guide
    'The poet scrupulously decouples nature from any sense of private ownership, opening himself up to more generous, alternative worldviews. This is a bold and impressive debut.'

    David Wheatley, Guardian Review Roundup 

    'Allen-Paisant has penned a debut that may be years ahead of its time.'

    Anthony Anaxagorou

     'Jason Allen-Paisant deftly inscribes his own signature on worlds inner and outer in these gorgeous poems. The future of Caribbean lyric poetry is in great hands'

    Lorna Goodison

      'Jason Allen-Paisant maps a complex and multifaceted internal landscape in these astounding poems. How does the person occupy a poem? How does the poem speak back to a person? How does a poem then speak to the world?... Tough queries on language and personhood are posed through Paisant's extraordinary line and sense of image; every poem seems a painting with their flashes of colour, their broad scope of place, the vivid characters of the people and animals who inhabit them. In these quietly subversive lyrics, expectations are undone, of ecologies, of people, of poems: trees, dogs, thoughts, cells, the daily world here is rendered wholly new.'

    Rachael Allen

    'Allen-Paisant's poetic ruminations deceptively radicalise Wordsworth's pastoral scenic daffodils; here the body is never restful or relaxed due to a lingering unease in these British parks and woodlands. He employs the usual meditative tropes found in nature writing, in order to exploit and amplify the psychological sense of entitlement this relationship with the land denotes. These penetrable lyrical verses and essays deconstruct democratic notions of green space in the British landscape by racialising contemporary ecological poetics. The collection's power lies in Allen-Paisant's subtle destabilization of the ordinary dog walker's right to space, territory, property and leisure by positioning the colonised Black male body's complicated and unsafe reality in these spaces.'

    Malika Booker

    'These observant poems lay their burdens down by the rivers of Babylon and try to sing the Lord's song in a strange land. What might it mean for the black body to experience nature, not as labour, but as leisure? What might it mean to simply walk through a park and observe the birds and the trees? The poems are beautiful and gentle, but the questions they raise are difficult and important.'

    Kei Miller

    Awards won by Jason Allen-Paisant Winner, 2022 The Poetry Category OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature
    (Thinking with Trees)
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog The Feeling Sonnets: Eugene Ostashevsky read more PN Review 266: Editorial read more Ian Pople: Spillway: New and Selected Poems read more Peter Sansom: Lanyard read more PN Review 265: Under the Cover with Gregory O'Brien read more PN Review 265: Editorial read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2022 Carcanet Press Ltd