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New Caribbean Poetry
Edited by Kei Miller
Categories: 21st Century, Anthologies, Caribbean
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (180 pages)
(Pub. May 2007)
The Caribbean is producing some of the most innovative and sophisticated poets in world literature today. This anthology turns the spotlight on eight New Caribbean poets. Between them, they represent the range of Caribbean identities and experiences: they are black, white, Indian and in between. Their first language is French, Spanish and English. They are home-bodies. They are world travellers. They represent all kinds of diaspora — from the islander who sought and made home in a foreign land, to the foreigner who sought and made home in the islands. The common thread between them is that they are all very good, and all are committed to the magical possibilities of language.
Awards won by Kei Miller Short-listed, 2020 The Derek Walcott Prize (In Nearby Bushes) Long-listed, 2020 The Polari Prize (In Nearby Bushes) Winner, 2014 Forward Prize for Best Collection (The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion) Short-listed, 2014 Costa Book Awards for Poetry (The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion) Short-listed, 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize (The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion)
'A tremendous range of writing as excellent Jamaican poets rub shoulders with peers from Haiti, Trinidad and the Bahamas. Diverse and stimulating.'
Independent on Sunday 'These captivating poets write from the heart with poems which range from the spare and haunting to the risky and experimental. There are surprises, there is beauty, there are pleasures to be discovered, there is much to be enjoyed.'
Bernardine Evaristo Praise for Kei Miller This is a book that offers a wise, colourful and unflinching look at contemporary Jamaica - good and bad - and anyone who loves language will find it utterly intoxicating.'
Roger Cox, The Scotsman 'Lyrical contemplation brings to the fore the Jamaican landscape in which the collection is set and its inextricable relationship to racialized violence... The frequency with which these poems deploy the signifier bush but nevertheless find ways to reimagine its social, political, and aesthetic potentials suggests that we may no sooner exhaust our compulsion for clarity than our desire for obscurity.'
Joseph Fritsch, Public Books 'Miller's lush, contemplative poetic style is on full display, as is formal innovation with a boundary-breaking structure setting critical 'micro-essays' in conversation with verse ... This collection is a powerful testament to his acuity as both poet and critic.'
Sarah-Jean Zubair, Magma
'Miller deftly uses caesuras,line breaks and antimetabole to keep the reader pivoting between meanings, between growth and rot.''Kei Miller has always had a distinct relationship to ideas of place, able - as the best cartographers are - to make sense of territory new or previously overlooked, and point us to why we should be looking there, and what we should be looking for: the stories that are being buried, being forgotten... It's also a sharp reminder that crisis - endings - will find us, wherever we are. What are - what could be - beautiful refuges don't exist, and are the real nowhere places.'
Rishi Dastidar, Poetry London
'Miller's formal and linguistic inventiveness are at their best in his lively analysis of patois and etymology... Miller combines reportage, poetry, essay, psalmistry and erasure to show... the book of poems as a site of potential'
Dominic Leonard, Times Literary Supplement
'Kei Miller has always had a distinct relationship to ideas of place, able - as the best cartographers are - to make sense of territory new or previously overlooked, and point us to why we should be looking there, and what we should be looking for: the stories that are being buried, being forgotten... This method of directing us to what we really need to pay attention to, and where it is happening, is at the core of Miller's latest collection'
Rishi Dastidar, Poetry London
'In Kei Miller's case, perceptions of Jamaica play out wittily through dialect and toponym, and are set against violent circumstances, explored with a profound awareness of their cultural and historical causes.'
W. N. Herbert, The Poetry Review
'This grab-you-by-the-collar collection uses the undergrowth as a symbol for Jamaica's dark side.'
Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
'Miller surpasses expectations for a book to be about something, as if a book's purpose were merely to convey information, or to create an experience. To read In Nearby Bushes is to be guided into thinking through things, however uncomfortable or uncanny.'
'Some of the most exciting poetry I've read in years. Radiant utterance that speaks of island experiences and gender politics from a deep well of understanding, with empathy, humour and insight. An extraordinary new voice singing with clarity and grace.'
Olive Senior 'Raise high the roofbeams, here comes a strong new presence in poetry...Kei Miller's is a voice we will hear much more of, for it speaks and sings with rare confidence and authority.'
Lorna Goodison 'The verse movement here, the interplay of sound values in inner rhyme and consonantal pairing, in fact the whole lyrical movement of the text, I find exemplary.'
Peter Riley, Fortnightly Review 'Miller's charming second collection [There Is an Anger that Moves] is an affectionately jaunty glimpse of a life caught between the cold and baffling England he has adopted and the fiery warmth of his Jamaican home.'
No. 7 in 'The Ten Best New poetry collections' - The Independent, 2007
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