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Red

Red collects poems that engage ‘red’, poems by Black British poets writing with the word “red” in mind—as a kind of leap-off point, a context, a germ—the way something small, minor, or grand might spur a poem. It offers the reader the freedom to come to whatever conclusions they want to about what writing as a poet who is also Black and British might mean.

£9.99

Author(s)
Kwame Dawes, Kadija Sesay, Sai Murray, Dorothea Smartt, Raman Mundair, Fred D'Aguiar, Bernardine Evaristo, John Lyons
ISBN
9781845231293
Pages
252
Price
£9.99
Classification
Inscribe, Anthologies, Poetry
Setting
Date published
14 Feb 2010

Red is a powerful new anthology of work by Black British poets. 

"Perhaps the most significant thing to be said about Red is that the poets in this volume burst through any constraining label with writing that throbs and pulses and seeps and flows." Margaret Busby

Featuring:
Jackie Kay * Patience Agbabi * Nii Ayikwei Parkes * Raman Mundair * Maya Chowdhry * Dorothea Smartt * Fred D’Aguiar * Linton Kwesi Johnson * Bernardine Evaristo * Roi Kwabena * John Lyons * Lemn Sissay * Grace Nichols * Jack Mapanje * Daljit Nagra * John Agard * Gemma Weekes * Wangui Wa Goro and many more...

Red collects poems that engage ‘red’, poems by Black British poets writing with the word “red” in mind—as a kind of leap-off point, a context, a germ—the way something small, minor, or grand might spur a poem. It offers the reader the freedom to come to whatever conclusions they want to about what writing as a poet who is also Black and British might mean.

The result is a book of poets ranging from well established and published writers to first time poets. Red does find its usual associations with blood, violence, passion, and anger. Sometimes it is linked with sensuality and sexuality. But there are surprises, when red defines a memory or mood, the quality of light in a sky, the colour of skin, the sound of a song, and much, much more. The anthology, therefore, succeeds in producing poems that seem to be first about image, and only then about whatever else fascinates the poet. 

In this sense, Red is a different kind of anthology of Black British writing, and the richness of the entries, the moods, the humour, the passion, the reflection, the confessional all confirm that Black British poetry is a lively and defining force in Britain today.

Editor Kwame Dawes is a poet, novelist, playwright and critic. His work as an organiser and deliverer of poetry workshops has been hailed in many parts of the world, not least in the UK, USA and Jamaica, where he has been the Literary programmer of the Calabash International Literature Festival for the past ten years. His work as an editor received wide praise for Wheel and Come Again: An Anthology of Reggae Poetry.

Red is published by Inscribe, an imprint of Peepal Tree. The Inscribe Series Editor is Kadija Sesay.

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Fred D'Aguiar

Fred D’Aguiar has published loads of books. His latest poetry collection is The Rose of Toulouse (Carcanet, 2013). His most recent novel is Children of Paradise (Granta, 2014).

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John Lyons

John Lyons was born in Trinidad. He came to the UK many years ago, and lives in Ely. He has established a reputation as a fine poet, a successful artist and an imaginative cook. John's latest book, Dancing in the Rain is shortlisted for the prestigious CLPE (CLiPPA) Award) – the only award for poetry published for children.

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Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books and numerous other published and produced works that span the genres of fiction, poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essays, literary criticism, and radio and theatre drama.

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Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of over thirty books, and is widely recognized as one the Caribbean’s leading writers. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. His latest book from Peepal Tree Press is Wheels, his sixteenth book of poems.

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Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea Smartt has an international reputation as a respected literary activist, live artist, and established poet. Born and raised in London, with Barbadian heritage, she is described as a 'Brit-born Bajan international’. Over the past twenty years, her credits include engagements with the British Council in Bahrain, South Africa, USA, Egypt, and Hungary. She was keynote speaker at Barbados’ Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award, 2013. She has two full collections, Connecting Medium and Ship Shape [Peepal Tree Press]. Her recent chapbook, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, “…is subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic...” She is currently researching a live art work, including a third full poetry collection. In it she continues to rework standard narratives, this time imagining same-sex relationships and cross-gender experiences among ‘West Indian’ workers on the Panama Canal in the early 1900’s.

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Kadija Sesay

Kadija Sesay is a literary activist of Sierra Leonean descent. She read West African studies at Birmingham University, then became a freelance journalist. In the mid-1990s she worked for the Centreprise Literature Development Project as the Black Literature Development Co-ordinator, and set up the newspaper Calabash. In 2001 she founded SABLE LitMag.

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Sai Murray

Sai Murray is a writer, poet and graphic designer of Bajan/Afrikan/English heritage. His debut poetry collection, Ad-liberation, was published by Peepal Tree in 2013 and was described as: “social commentary at its best… wry, witty and biting… traverses standard poetry and prose” by The Jamaica Gleaner.

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Raman Mundair

Raman Mundair is a writer and artist. She was born in Ludhiana, India and came to live in the UK at the age of five. She is the author of two volumes of poetry, A Choreographer’s Cartography and Lovers, Liars, Conjurers and Thieves - both published by Peepal Tree Press.

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