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Koker

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9780948833052

£7.99
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The poems in this collection ask how meaning and creative sustenance can be found in the tensions between a broken Indian heritage, the harsh history of labour on the sugar estates and the native tradition of an Indo-Guyanese 'bung coolie' culture. They attempt to find a way forward from a state of limbo - which is both a state of placelessness between ancestral Indian memories (which can no longer sustain) and repulsion from the harsh history of oppression in the canefields of Guyana, and also a place of liminal possibility rooted in the hesitant native tradition. What is seen as reactionary in the Indian heritage is subjected to iconoclastic questioning, what is democratically alive is celebrated. Written during the Burnham years of economic collapse and political and racial oppression, there are poems of sharp anger against all that has made life spirit-sapping and hazardous, but an anger which is inverted love, because Monar's poetry is Guyanese to the bone.

This collection was given a special award in the 1987 Guyana Literary Prize awards.

Rooplall Monar was born on the Lusignan sugar estate in Guyana in 1945. Apart from brief overseas visits he has lived in Guyana all his life, in Annandale village, East Coast Demerara.
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