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Authors: Dennis Scott

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781845230241

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In After-image, Dennis Scott displays in ever more refined, pared-down ways the qualities that, in his previous collections, established him as a major Caribbean poet.

There is his acute intelligence, seriousness worn lightly, and meticulous craft with sound and the appearance of the poem on the page. There is his resolute integrity as a Black and Caribbean poet with a sense of multiple inheritances who refuses to be conscripted into any sentimental or monolithic stance, who goes ‘among the fashionable drums/trying to keep true my own blood’s subtle beat’. There is the warm humanity of his poems about love and the nourishment of his marriage. There is his actor’s ability to get under the skin of those he observes, to see ‘so many tales/ in every silent face’, his sense of the masks and rituals, the significance of tiny movements in the interactions between people.

Particularly arresting in After-image, poems drawn from the wealth of manuscripts left by Scott after his untimely death in 1991, and edited by his friend and fellow poet, Mervyn Morris, are those that focus on his own coming death, his hope/confidence that ‘when this machine is dead/ the poems it made will flare/ wild...’

Scott’s work is acknowledged as one of the major influences on the direction of Caribbean theatre. He died at the early age of fifty-one in 1991.
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