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An Introduction to West Indian Poetry

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About the Authors
  • This introduction to West Indian poetry is written for readers making their first approach to the poetry of the Caribbean written in English. It offers a comprehensive literary history from the 1920s to the 1980s, with particular attention to the relationship of West Indian poetry to European, African and American literature. Close readings of individual poems give detailed analysis of social and cultural issues at work in the writing. Laurence Breiner's exposition speaks powerfully about the defining forces in Caribbean culture from colonialism to resistance and decolonization.

    • Explores often neglected regional contexts of Caribbean poetry in Cuba, Haiti and the Negritude movement; unique summaries of poetry in each separate West Indian nation, and their collective development
    • Emphasises the particular resources of poetry as distinct from other literary forms, and its unique position in these societies
    • Strong on cultural and political contexts: colonialism, decolonisation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This book is a superb introduction to West Indian poetry and to one of the most important sectors of the postcolonial scene. Students using this book will come out of the experience with an excellent mastery of the primary texts of West Indian literature and the issues that motivated it." Simon Gikandi, University of Michigan

    "The most valuable survey/analysis published to date." Choice

    "Laurence A. Breiner's Introduction to West Indian Poetry represents a fine contribution to West Indian literary studies. While a number of critical studies have been devoted to the West Indian novel, far fewer have explored the richness of the region's poetry, and Breiner's introduction is both timely and informative....the work is both ambitious in its aims and successful in achieving them, providing an excellent introduction that will be of great use to students and scholars alike." Keith Alan Sprouse, World Literature Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511823527
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from
  • Table of Contents

    Map of the Caribbean
    Chronology for Anglophone Caribbean poetry
    1. West Indian poetry and its audience
    2. The Caribbean neighbourhood
    3. Overview of West Indian literary histories
    4. The relation to 'Europe'
    5. The relation to 'Africa'
    6. The relation to 'America'
    Guide to further reading.

  • Author

    Laurence A. Breiner, Boston University

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