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Brief Reviews-Poetry2
by Charlene Diehl-Jones

THERE`S Room FOR more than 100 Caribbean women poets to speak their divergent voices, styles, and languages in Creation Fire: A CAFRA Anthology of Caribbean Women`s Poetry (Sister Vision, 349 pages, $16.95 paper). This book has a thematic cast, and the list of sections - The Artist, The Lover, `The Exile, The Guerrilla, The Worker, and others -articulates its own eloquence about the lives and concerns of its contributors. Creation Fire is inclusive, and ultimately offers a political rather than poetic agenda. The writing quality varies, as one would expect: some of these writers are still very young or inexperienced, and indeed many have never been published. And because many of them have little sense of collective voice or tradition, they often draw on imported and ill-fitting models. Some of the writing in this book is almost Wordsworthian, with peculiar and dislocating effects. The real treasures, to my way of thinking, are those poems that catch the flavourful diction and expression so characteristic of the region. Marlene Nourbese Philip and Andri Zhina Mandiela, both of whom now live in Toronto, deserve mention for work that is both politically and poetically exciting. At one time, an anthology was a gathering of flowers, and Creation Fire does display a few exotic and rare blooms. It will make possible many more.

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