Friday 5 June, 2020

Kamau Brathwaite publishes new book in St. Martin

Liviticus by Kamau Brathwaite (HNP, 2017). St. Martin artist Fay Helfer’s illustration of the author appears on the cover of the new poetry book.

Liviticus by Kamau Brathwaite (HNP, 2017). St. Martin artist Fay Helfer’s illustration of the author appears on the cover of the new poetry book.

At age 87, distinguished Caribbean poet/scholar, Kamau Brathwaite has offered up Liviticus, his newest poetry book, published in St. Martin in June by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The poetry is written in Brathwaite’s Sycorax Video Style (SVS). The book’s 8.5 x 11 size accommodates the SVS wide spacing, punctuations, and font varieties.

According to  Lasana M. Sekou of HNP, this aesthetically unique style has at times amounted to a challenge - if not a point of editorial contention - with major publishers who are eager to publish the Barbadian poet but may find themselves at odds with the requirements of his SVS brand.

Liviticus was launched as the “main book” at the closing ceremony of the 15th anniversary of the St. Martin Book Fair, on June 3.

The book has been hailed by Garrett Hongo, the Pulitzer-nominated USA author, as “a monument to sorrow that cherishes our origins as we live our lives of Modern distraction.”

One reviewer connects to what has been identified elsewhere as the sustained “global importance” of the great Barbadian poet’s works.

“Even as Kamau Brathwaite writes eloquently and heartbreakingly about his ‘Cultural Lynching,’ there remains the poet’s steadfast desire to connect to the pasts, presents, and futures of a seemingly indifferent world,” said Kelly Baker Josephs, editor of the literary platform sx salon.

Liviticus is available at Arnia’s, Van Dorp, Amazon.com, and SPDbooks.org.

Kamau Brathwaite was born in Barbados in 1930. The co-founder of the Caribbean Arts Movement in the UK has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and the USA.

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