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Making History Happen

Caribbean Poetry in America

Author(s): Derrilyn E. Morrison
Contributors: Valerie Loichot;

Book Description

Making History Happen: Caribbean Poetry in America examines Lorna Goodison’s Turn Thanks (1999), McCallum’s The Water Between Us (1999), and Claudia Rankine’s Plot (2001) and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004). Engaging familiar themes and issues of time, language, and identity, the readings focus on “Signifying” moments in the works of the poets under discussion. Reflecting on some of the ways that transnational women poets of the black diaspora are using tropes of mobility to create a renewed sense of identity and a sense of belonging to a communal network, the readings also demonstrate that the project of re-writing individual self-identity in light of one’s expanding consciousness or awareness of the “other” is more urgent, and more demandingly realistic, in contemporary poetry written by women poets who occupy transnational spaces. In these works, re-memory becomes a process that transforms, the gathering of memory reflecting the interrelatedness of communal and individual subjective identities.

Rankine’s poetry collections are used to close the discourse in this book, for the call they make. An intriguing crossing of genres, their structural use of time and space reflects the stylistic inventiveness that has become a hallmark of transnational poets of the black diaspora. In its transformation of language, and of images that remain open-ended in their meanings, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely fuses poetry, dialogue, and prose with images from television and other forms of communication media to create a poetic collection that is relentless in its confrontation with the way we make cultural meanings. The collection of essays in this book calls attention to an emerging poetic body of Caribbean writing in America that requires naming, for it is new.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-7442-7
ISBN-10: 1-4438-7442-6
Date of Publication: 01/04/2015
Pages / Size: 115 / A5
Price: £41.99


Derrilyn E. Morrison received her PhD degree in Comparative Literature from Emory University in 2004. An Associate Professor of English at Middle Georgia State College (soon to be University) she offers specialization courses in Caribbean, African American, and non-Western literature. Alongside teaching responsibilities, Morrison also serves on the editorial boards for various literary journals.