This Strange Land

This Strange Land

19.95

Shara McCallum


(Paperback w/ Audio CD)

“[In This Strange Land] McCallum crafts a world filled with marvelous ideas about the everyday reality of urban Jamaica, a world of contrasts in which romance and protest make strange bedfellows, where ‘‘beauty and violence lie down together.’”
Review: Literature of Arts of the Americas, Issue 86, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2013, 160-161

April 2011
ISBN:
9781882295869

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Shara McCallum Author Photo.jpg

Originally from Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of five books of poetry, published in the US and UK: MadwomanThe Face of Water: New and Selected PoemsThis Strange LandSong of Thieves, and The Water Between Us. Her poems have appeared widely in the US, Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America and have been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, and Turkish. Her personal essays appear regularly in print and online. Recognition for her writing includes a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry, and other awards. From 2003-2017 she was Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. She is currently Liberal Arts Professor of English at Penn State University.

 
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— NC

Additional Praise:

“McCallum’s new poems mark a terrific quantum leap in maturity, complexity, and depth. [This Strange Land] appears to be a determined fusion of past and present, of general and personal history, towards a collective memory that would encompass us all.”
Michela A. Calderaro

This Strange Land poignantly and appropriately begins with ‘Psalm for Kingston,’ a poem that calls out to a violent city and its resilient inhabitants. The voices of Kingston…are brought up and left to fade into the fabric of the verse… It is a fitting way to introduce a book that is in search of what feels almost lost and yet ever-present.”
Thom Dawkins, Weave Magazine

“These are poems of ruin and rebirth, of the joys and damage a mother knows…This is a marvelous collection filled with a lovely and evocative music. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Jean Rhys could be the presiding spirit of this moving collection, which mines deep veins of loss and displacement. The personal and the political converge in new ways in these finely crafted poems, and readers should be prepared for unexpected turns and genuine surprises.”
Lorna Goodison

This Strange Land is a remarkably accomplished book, ranging from childhood to parenthood, Jamaica to America, in a way that feels integrated and organic. With mature hindsight, Shara McCallum revisits early experience with a piercing clarity (even in dialect, as in the wonderful ‘Miss Sally’ poems), exposing its undercurrents in the present. Intimate, serious, and beautifully crafted, these poems scrutinize the griefs and beauties of familial life and memorialize them with meticulous care.”
Chase Twichell

“Chinua Achebe spoke of a literature of the future in which the ‘horizon extends to include all the world.’ Shara McCallum’s dazzling new work brings that oceanic sky-line close. Exploring the specifics of a marginalized culture, she challenges and deepens the idea of the universal. She has the poet’s gift to complicate your stance towards your own language and times. This Strange Land might turn out to be home after all—McCallum’s creation is not just an overwhelmingly real place, but a confrontation with history, an exploration of the maelstrom of the family, and a poetics of extraordinary lyricism and urgency.”
D. Nurkse

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— NC

More by Shara McCallum:

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