Heron’s Canoe is the English translation for the Carib name of a constellation that lies in the region of Ursa Major, significant to Amerindian myths of origin, which Mark De Brito’s poem connects to other myths of origin, particularly those of West Africa which reached the Caribbean in the submerged belief systems and religions of the African slaves. De Brito joins that small group of Caribbean poets and novelists whose work explores the existence of a distinctive Caribbean cosmology as the root of a nativist literary aesthetic.
De Brito’s approach is both personal and intellectual: as a Black British person who has explored his Trinidadian family roots and through them the manifestations of Africa in Trinidad in the Orisha chapelles, but also as a writer inspired by the work of Wilson Harris in his emphasis on the importance of the broken and buried legacies of the Caribbean.
Mark De Brito was born and lives in the UK. His family originated in Trinidad.