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The Art of Kamau Brathwaite

Stewart Brown
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 1, 1995
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Kamau Brathwaite is arguably the most original poet yet to emerge from the Caribbean; in terms of his technical experimentation with form and language and the sheer scale and ambition of his work he is certainly the most adventurous. Author of over a dozen collections of poetry, several works of cultural criticism, plays for schools, and a standard volume of Caribbean history, and for many years editor of ’Bim’ and ’Savacou’, his position in Caribbean culture is of enormous importance. As a leading apologist for the Caribbean Artists Movement he is recognised as an influential thinker on areas such as pan-Caribbean sensibility and alternatives to colonial/neo-colonial cultural models.

The Art of Kamau Brathwaite is the first full length study of Brathwaite’s work and thinking. It addresses his poetry and other written work and explores the three inter-connected concerns which have shaped his consciousness: Africa, jazz and the use of West Indian language in poetry.  The essayists are all specialists from both the Caribbean and Britain and north America, and Brathwaite himself provides an interview and a major work in his ’Metaphors of Underdevelopment: A Proem for Hernan Cortez’.

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