Caribbean Dozen: Poems from Thirteen Caribbean Poets

Publisher: Walker Books

Legendary poets John Agard and Grace Nichols, both originally from the Caribbean, have compiled a lovely book of poems featuring their own work alongside eleven others, forming a generous ‘Caribbean Dozen’ of wordsmiths.

Featuring Valerie Bloom, Faustin Charles, Grace Nichols, Telcine Turner, David Campbell, Opal Palmer Adisa, Marc Matthews, John Agard, Dionne Brand, Pamela Mordecai, John Lyons, James Berry and Frank Collymore, this is a wonderful collection of poems, filled with joy, sadness, laughs and beautiful observations of Caribbean life. Each poet’s section begins with a short biographical note from the poet, which is bound to inspire readers to look for more books from their favourites.

In Marc Matthews’ poem ‘I Love the’ the poet remembers the delicious smells of his mother baking bread and coconut buns on a Friday night; in Dionne Brand’s ‘Old Men of Magic’ Brand recounts an evening listening to the bearded, older men in her community telling ‘whispery secrets about the earth and the heavens’. In Grace Nichols’ ‘For Forest’ she describes a forest as a secretive place which deserves respect – ‘and when night come/and darkness wrap her like a gown/Forest is a bad dream woman’ and in James Berry’s two poems ‘Bye Now’ and ‘Goodbye Now’, the same poem is written first in a Jamaican patois and then in English.

A truly lovely collection of poems, this is an ideal collection for schools and for reading at home.

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