Grace Nichols – I Have Crossed an Ocean: Selected Poems



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Winner of The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, 2021 Grace Nichols’ poetry has a gritty lyricism that addresses the transatlantic connections central to the Caribbean-British experience. Her work brings a mythic awareness and a sensuous musicality that is at the same time disquieting. Born and educated in Guyana, Grace Nichols moved to Britain in 1977. I Have Crossed an Ocean is a comprehensive selection spanning some 25 years of her writing, from I Is a Long-Memoried Woman (1983) to Startling the Flying Fish (2006), plus a selection of her poetry for younger readers. Her later collections are not covered by this selection: Picasso, I Want My Face Back (2009), The Insomnia Poems (2017) and Passport from Here to There (2020). ‘Over the past four decades, Grace has been an original, pioneering voice in the British poetry scene. A noted reader and ‘performer’ of her work, she has embraced the tones of her adopted country and yet maintained the cadences of her native tongue. Her poems are alive with characters from the folklore and fables of her Caribbean homeland, and echo with the rhymes and rhythms of her family and ancestors… Above all, Grace Nichols has been a beacon for black women poets in this country, staying true to her linguistic coordinates and poetic sensibilities, and offering a means of expression that has offered inspiration and encouragement to many. She is a moving elegist, and a poet of conciliation and constructive dialogue between cultures, but also a voice of questioning dissent when the occasion demands.’ – Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate, on behalf of The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry Committee

Price £12.99

ISBN: 9781852248581

Date: 27th May 2010

Format: Paperback

Extent: 192 pp


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