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Continental Shelf

Fred D'Aguiar

Continental Shelf by Fred d'Aguiar
RRP: GBP 9.95
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ISBN: 978 1 847770 43 1
Categories: 21st Century, Black and Asian, British, Caribbean
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2009
216 x 135 x 8 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Demerara whose east coast raised me
    From a mere stalk to stand straight

    To stand tall no matter what current
    Help me find your grain your flow
    And Demerara sweeten me

    So my art keeps your river's caveat
    Your sense of cane fields bathed in sweat

    from 'Demerara Sugar' by Fred D'Aguiar
    Continental Shelf traces a journey, across continents and from youth to maturity. It moves from memories of childhood in Guyana, through a long elegiac exploration of the shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2006, to the reflective closing section which gives its title to the book. Fred D'Aguiar celebrates individuals and the histories embedded in places. He conjures up a sensuous childhood world of characters, stories, a loved particularity - a smell of bitumen, the local hero who comes last in a National Cycle Championship, a distant train's incantation of 'greenheart, mora, baromalli' - impressions so distinct and powerful that 'fumes... spin my head / Back whenever I catch a whiff from a car'. In D'Aguiar's Elegies for the thirty-three people who died in Virginia, that loss of unique and particular individuals is mourned, in a scrutiny of what civil and private life has become, and how, alongside grief, we may recover delight in the world. In his first full-length collection since Bill of Rights (1998), D'Aguiar celebrates how imagination and memory enable us to cope with violence and death. Love, above all, is the mainstay.

    Local Colour

    Bring Back, Bring Back
    A Clean Slate
    The Return
    At Sea
    Something Imagined
    Tamarind Season
    Playing House
    R O Y G B I V
    The Barber-Green
    Snake and Ladder
    After Birth
    Dara Singh
    Demerara Sugar
    The Shell Pond
    National Cycle Championship
    The Never-Never
    Houses not Homes
    Guyana Dreaming Wilson Harris
    Local Colour


    Continental Shelf

    Martial Art
    Jump Rope
    Star Fruit
    Continental Shelf
    Fred D'Aguiar was born in London in 1960 to Guyanese parents and grew up in Guyana, returning to England when he was a teenager. He trained as a psychiatric nurse before reading African and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His previous collections of poetry are Mama Dot (1985), ... read more
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