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Caribbean Passion

Published by Peepal Tree Press

ISBN: 9781900715928

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Caribbean Passion is feisty, sensuous and thought provoking -- everything one expects from Opal Palmer Adisa. Whether writing about history, Black lives, family, or love and sexual passion, she has an acute eye for the contraries of experience. Her Caribbean has a dynamic that draws from its dialectic of oppression and resistance; her childhood includes both the affirmation of parents that makes her ‘leap fences’ and the ‘jeer of strange men on the street/that made your feet stumble’; and men are portrayed both as predators and as the objects of erotic desire.

This vision of contraries is rooted in an intensely sensuous apprehension of the physical world. She observes the Caribbean’s foods and flora with exactness; makes them emblematic metaphors that are often rewardingly oblique; and uses them as starting points for engagingly conversational meditations on aspects of remembered experience. There is a witty play between food and sexuality, but counterpointing her celebration of the erotic, there is a keen sense of the oppression of the female body. In her poem ‘Bumbu Clat’, for instance, she explores the deformation of a word that originally signified ‘sisterhood’ to become part of the most transgressive and misogynist curse in Jamaican society. In this doubleness of vision, the term ‘womanist’ was invented to describe Opal Palmer Adisa’s work.

Opal Palmer Adisa is a Jamaica-born, award-winning poet, educator and storyteller. Anthologised in over 100 publications, she is a regular performer of her work throughout the USA and presently lives in Oakland, California, when she is not traveling.
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