South Eastern States is a poetry collection centred around travel – ranging from his native Barbados, across the Southern States of the US (especially his home-state of Georgia), and on to Brazil. To share Anthony Kellman’s journeyings is to delight in his eye for ‘our small deep gestures’, the ‘polyphony in the common salt’ of human interaction.
There are telling observations on both the tenacity of the old and the curiosity of the very young. There are savagely witty tales about the pretension and philistinism still rife on the island of his birth, as well as poems of homage to those authors, like George Lamming, who strive to reverse the trend. Most of all, though, there is an overwhelming urge to sing songs of praise.
Anthony Kellman was born in Barbados in 1955. At eighteen he moved to London, drawing up close links with the Poetry Society and the likes of Alan Brownjohn, James Berry and Peter Forbes. He is the author of seven collections, including Limestone (2008) and Wings of a Stranger (2001), and two novels, The Houses of Alphonso (2004) and The Coral Rooms (1994), all published by Peepal Tree Press. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Augusta College, Georgia.