From the first poem to the last, Smartt’s new chapbook collection advocates a revolutionary decampment from the madhouse of desires “reigned in” to protect a precarious and often incoherent code of Caribbean respectability. This is Smartt at her sensual and lyrical best. These poems sing, and dance and love passionately ‘til morning cum.
From the hazardous terrain of same-sex loving in Jamaica for some couples, to the manipulation of heterosexual marriage conventions in Barbados in the name of love, to the freedom of sexual abandon and the fulfilment of desire in Amsterdam, this small body of work is subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic. Smartt’s cartography renders new the old directive that we love each other, that we build and sustain community, that we protect and care for each other’s needs, desires and dreams. Ultimately, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings On is about Black diasporic love at its most radical and life-affirming.
Dorothea Smartt is a literary activist, live artist, and established and respected poet with an international reputation.