Half the night she lay awake
The howling ship of the wind
Its gathering rage
Like some dark ancestral spectre
Fearful and reassuringÖ
(ëHurricane Hits England')
Grace Nichols' poetry has a gritty lyricism that addresses the transatlantic connections central to the Caribbean-British experience. Her work brings a mythic awareness and a sensuous musicality that is at the same time disquieting. Born and educated in Guyana, Grace Nichols moved to Britain in 1977. I Have Crossed an Ocean is a comprehensive selection spanning some 25 years of her writing.
"Not only rich music, an easy lyricism, but also grit, and earthy honesty, a willingness to be vulnerable and clean."
"Grace Nichols has wit, acidity, tenderness, any number of gifts at her disposal."
"Grace Nichols came to Britain from Guyana at the age of 27 and she has carried the warmth of her Caribbean sensibility through many a cold English winter. Her poems celebrate sensuality and generosity and attack petty mean-spiritednessÖ Deeply Caribbean in sensibility, she writes sensitively of other traditions, especially Africa and India."
"Nichols's laughter lines provide a refreshing alternative to the megahype peddled by mainstream commercial media in diverse fields, including female fashion... Nichols can dance ultra-enticing calypso, at once indie-feminist and cockhappy-erotic, and leave both options open."
Michael Horovitz, The Independent
"From her first collection in 1983, I Is a Long Memoried Woman, she has been a strong presence in the linguistic interweave between the Caribbean and the UK. Her poetry and prose move easily between the poised world of Western culture, Old World history and myth, and the gritty rhythms of the Caribbean everydayÖ There is wit, irony and passionÖ real poise."
Michelene Wandor, Poetry Review
"With this book, readers can experience the slow expansion of a writer's perspective."