Darling: New & Selected Poems

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom, Videos, Women on 2013-04-03 20:54Z by Steven

Darling: New & Selected Poems

Bloodaxe Books
224 pages
Paperback ISBN: 1 85224 777 0

Jackie Kay, Professor of Creative Writing
Newcastle University

Humour, gender, sexuality, sensuality, identity, racism, cultural difference: when do any of these things ever come together to equal poetry? When Jackie Kay’s part of the equation. Darling brings together into a vibrant new book many favourite poems from her four Bloodaxe collections, The Adoption Papers, Other Lovers, Off Colour and Life Mask, as well as featuring new work, some previously uncollected poems, and some lively poetry for younger readers.

Kay’s poems draw on her own life and the lives of others to make a tapestry of voice and communal understanding. The title of her acclaimed short story collection, Why Don’t You Stop Talking, could be a comment on her own poems, their urgency of voice and their recognition of the urgency in all voice, particularly the need to be heard, to have voice. And what voice – the voices of the everyday, the voices of jazz, the voices of this many-voiced United Kingdom.

Jackie Kay reads from Darling

Jackie Kay reads three poems, ‘In My Country’, ‘Somebody Else’ and ‘Darling’, from Darling: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2007). This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes eight poems from Darling read by Jackie Kay.  Jackie Kay was an adopted child of Scottish/Nigerian descent brought up by Scottish parents. With humour and emotional directness, her poetry explores gender, sexuality, identity, racism and cultural difference as well as love and music. Her poems draw on her own life and the lives of others to make a tapestry of voice and communal understanding. We filmed her at her home in Manchester in 2007.

A short biography of Jackie Kay written by Elizabeth Shostak can be read here.  An excerpt is below.

Unconventional Upbringing
Kay’s fascination with themes of identity can be traced to an upbringing that set her apart, in many ways, from the majority culture in her native Scotland. Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, she was adopted by a white family and raised in Glasgow, where she often accompanied her communist parents to antiapartheid demonstrations and peace rallies. Life wasn’t easy for a biracial child in mostly–white Glasgow. “I still have Scottish people asking me where I’m from,” she told Guardian writer Libby Brooks. “They won’t actually hear my voice, because they’re too busy seeing my face.”…

Early Works Explored Identity
When Kay was twelve, she wrote One Person, Two Names, an eighty–page story about an African–American girl who pretended to be white. The question of how we define ourselves, and why, has intrigued Kay in all her subsequent work…

1Shostak, Elizabeth. “Kay, Jackie 1961–.” Contemporary Black Biography. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (May 2, 2010). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2873900038.html

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Half-Caste and Other Poems

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Poetry, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2009-12-19 22:06Z by Steven

Half-Caste and Other Poems

Hodder Literature
Paperback: 80 pages
19.4 x 12.2 x 0.8 cm
ISBN-10: 0340893893
ISBN-13: 978-0340893890

John Agard

Half-Caste’, the title poem of this collection, is one of the set poems for GCSE English for AQA A, the largest spec with 375,000 candidates. But its influence and presence extends well beyond the ‘AQA’ schools, making John Agard one of the most popular, well-known and respected poet-performers on the schools circuit.

Through his 45 poems, John Agard explores a wide variety of themes: racial harmony, tension and diversity; war and religion; society, patriotism and politics; as well as more personal ideas on relationships, love and attraction. This is all delivered with a range and depth in terms of content, language, poetic form and technique that will engage and motivate KS3 and KS4 pupils while developing their understanding. An ideal collection to sit at the heart of a scheme of work on cross-cultural themes.

Table of Contents

And All Was Good
My Move Your Move
Union Jack and Union Jill
Half-caste [Read here.]
A Word
Message From Your Mobile
Right-On Mr Left
Smoke-loving Girl Blues
Angels For Neighbours
A Vampire’s Priorities
A Hello From Cello
The Hurt Boy and The Birds
That Mouth
Behold My Pen
Punctuating The Silence
Poetry Jump-Up
Follow That Steel Pan
Coal’s Son and Diamond’s Daughter
A Date With Spring
volte For Your Local Shadow
The Ozone Liar
Who’ll Sve Dying Man?
For the Record
One Question From A Bullet
A Hand On A Forehead
Not Arms
Checking Out Me History
Toussaint L’Overture Acknowledges Wordsworth’s Sonnet ‘To Toussaint L’Overture’
Windrush Child
Crybaby Prime Minister
A Social Skeleton
The Giant With A Taste For Mongrel Blood
Behind The Menu
Marriage of Opposites

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Cue Lazarus

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2009-12-12 22:06Z by Steven

Cue Lazarus

University of Arizona Press
76 pages
6.0 x 9.0
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8165-2074-9

Carl Marcum

A ’77 Pinto. Two boys “a few months from their driver’s license.” And in the back seat, a ghost of the present observing this scene refracted by memory.  In this collection of poetry by Carl Marcum, a young man traces his rise to consciousness, his coming of age in the Southwest as a medio, an individual of mixed race. Displaying his Hispanic heritage as fact, emblem, and music in his poems, Marcum balances hip humor with larger themes of loss and reinvention to paint a work of seriousness and imagination, wrestling sense from the giddy rush of experience. The lead poem, “Cue Lazarus,” conveys the sense of loss that permeates the collection, revisiting time the author spent with a friend he now knows will die. It sets the tone for the explorations to follow as the poet haunts his past: death, traumatic experience, the uneasiness that comes from being unable to forestall tragedy, all combine to create a sense of paradox, that he who endures becomes a ghost compelled to haunt his own life. As poetry becomes a subtle game of language, experience is refigured as an array of possibilities; Marcum finds meaning and epiphany through close observation as he revels in images of constant motion and sustained search. Here is a suite in celebration of Chevys (“That Camaro ran nearly on machismo alone”) and a prayer for breakfast (“I’d like to renounce the salt and pepper shakers / of this life. But the eggs are here / twelve lines into this poem / and getting cold”). He dreams of himself as Pancho Villa, “my poetry at the end of a pistol,” and invokes the spirits of poets past, “beggars on the media of Limbo, holding shabby signs: WILL WORK FOR TRUTH.” Ultimately, Cue Lazarus is about resurrection—of the spirit, of a life, of an identity. It marks the emergence of a vital new voice that, in baring his soul, reveals lessons as old as time.

Read an excerpt here.

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Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Third Edition)

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Monographs, United States on 2009-12-11 20:03Z by Steven

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Third Edition)

Aunt Lute Books
ISBN: 1879960125

Gloria Anzaldúa

  • Chosen one of the “Best Books of 1987” by Library Journal.
  • Selected by Utne Reader as part of its “Alternative Canon” in 1998.
  • One of Hungry Mind Review’s “Best 100 Books of the 20th Century”

Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the groundbreaking essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenge how we think about identity. Borderlands/La Frontera remaps understandings of what a “border” is, seeing it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.

New to this edition:

Includes an Introduction by Sonia Saldívar-Hull; an interview with Gloria Anzaldúa; and contributions by Norma Alarcón, Julia Alvarez, Paola Bacchetta, Rusty Barcelo, Norma Elia Cantú, Sandra Cisneros, T. Jackie Cuevas, Claire Joysmith, and AnaLouise Keating.

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