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Clever Backbone

Clever Backbone

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John Agard has been broadening the canvas of British poetry for the past 30 years with his mischievous, satirical fables. In Clever Backbone, the Guyanese-born word magician plays havoc with biology and makes a monkey out of Darwinian evolution ñ on the occasion of the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species.

"John Agard's poetry is a wonderful affirmation of life, in a language that is as vital and joyous as we are able to craft it in the Caribbean, in spite of our history of distress."
David Dabydeen

"His poems are direct and arresting, playful, full of startling imagery, and are hilarious, passionate and erotic as often as they are political ñ often managing to be all these things at once."
Maura Dooley

"The new poems create multiple entertaining voices, but they are also urgent fables for our time."
Paula Burnett, Times Literary Supplement

"A specialist in word trickeryÖ Agard is one of our most consistent, culture-crossing spokesmen."
Graeme Wright, Poetry Review

"One of the most eloquent contemporary poetsÖ rich in literary and cultural allusion, yet as direct as a voice in the bus queue."
Helen Dunmore, Observer