There is renewed interest in Phyllis Shand Allfrey, author (the Orchid House) and politician from Dominica. Allfrey died in 1986 - her poetry neglected and little known. Her work is now being acclaimed and her place in Caribbean literary cannon assured.
Allfrey’s biographer, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, writes in her illuminating introduction that with the renewed academic interest in Allfrey’s work and the publication of this collection, Allfrey’s time has come. The volume includes all the poems published in her lifetime, some unpublished poems and a sample of her satirical poems written when she was editor and publisher of The Star newspaper in Dominica.
This is the first time her poetry has been put together in one volume, spanning five decades, from the 1930s, and reflects the two strands of Allfrey's life - the tropical and the temperate.
Phyllis Shand Allfrey was born in Dominica in the eastern Caribbean in 1908. She was a friend of Jean Rhys. Her novel, The Orchid House, was published in 1953 and her short story collection, It Falls into Place, in 2004. She lived in New York and London before returning to Dominica in the early 1950s. She was the co-founder of the Dominica Labour Party and served as a minister in the short-lived West Indies Federation (1958-62). She died in Dominica in 1986.
The introduction is by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Professor of Caribbean Literature at Vassar College New York. Her biography of Allfrey, A Caribbean Life, was published in 1996.