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Born to Slow Horses
Kamau Brathwaite

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2005 • 160 pp. 8 x 10"
Poetry / Latin American & Caribbean Studies / Carribean

$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6745-1

“If…we believe that poetry must move the reader on an intellectual and visceral level, so that the reader is inspired to return to it and re-read again and again, then Born to Slow Horses promises to stand the test of time”—Harold Heft, The Gazette, Montreal

New work by the co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement.

Kamau Brathwaite’s newest work, Born to Slow Horses, is a series of poetic meditations on islands and exile, language and ritual, and the force of personal and historical passions and griefs. These poems are haunted, figuratively and literally, by spirits of the African diaspora and drenched in the colors, sounds, and rhythms of the islands. But they also encompass the world of the exile and return, and the events of 9/11 in New York City. Brathwaite is one of the foremost voices in postcolonial inquiry and expression, and his poetry is densely rooted and expansive.

Using his unusual “sycorax” signature typography and spelling, Brathwaite brings a cultural specificity, with distinct accents, sonic gestures, and pronunciations, into his pages—making them new, exciting, and rich in nuances.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“It is Kamau Brathwaite whose work, more than that of any Caribbean poet since Cesar Vallejo (in translation), is influencing the future of poetry written in English. Disinterested in derivative European meters and themes, Brathwaite delivers a piping body of work characterized by innovation in typography, diction, form, and prosody. The news-flash contemporaneity of his subject material, the complexly counterpointed musical phrasing, and his tempestuous, politically incisive wordplay collaborate to invest his poems with an unparalleled exigency. Born to Slow Horses is a fast, breathless ride.”—Forrest Gander

“Those who lament that the Age of Giants is over have evidently never read Kamau Brathwaite. His is not the poetry of one man in the world but of an entire world in one man.”—Eliot Weinberger

From the Book:

so on this foreday morning w/out light or choice
i cannot swim
the stone. i can’t hold on to water. so i drown

i swallow left. i turn & fall-
ow into fear & blight. a night so deep it make you turn
& weep the line of spiders of yr future you see spin-

ing here. their silver
voice of tears. their lid. less jewell eyes ,
all thru this buffeting eternity i toss i burn
from “Hawk”


Winner of the Griffin International Poetry Prize (2006)

Author Photo

KAMAU BRATHWAITE, born in Barbados in 1930, is an internationally celebrated poet, performer, and cultural theorist. Co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement, he was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and has a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex in the U.K. He has served on the board of directors of UNESCO’s History of Mankind project since 1979, and as cultural advisor to the government of Barbados from 1975-79 and since 1990.

His awards include the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bussa Award, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the Charity Randall Prize for Performance and Written Poetry. He has received both Guggenheim and Fulbrights fellowships, among many others. His book The Zea Mexican Diary (1993) was the Village Voice Book of the Year. Over the years, he has worked in the Ministry of Education in Ghana, and taught at the University of the West Indies, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nairobi, Boston University, Holy Cross College, Yale, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard. Brathwaite is currently Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University, and shares his time between CowPastor, Barbados and New York City.

Fri, 9 Nov 2018 09:28:29 -0500