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Running The Dusk

Running The Dusk

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Christian Campbell takes us to dusk, what the French call l’heure entre chien et loup, the hour between dog and wolf, to explore ambiguity and intersection, danger and desire, loss and possibility. These poems of wild imagination shift shape and shift generation, remapping Caribbean, British and African American geographies: Oxford becomes Oxfraud; Shabba Ranks duets with Césaire; Sidney Poitier is reconsidered in an exam question; market women hawk poetry beside knock-off Gucci bags; elegies for ancestors are also for land and sea. Here is dancing at the crossroads between reverence and irreverence. Dusk is memory, dusk is dream, dusk is a way to re-imagine the past.

Running the Dusk won the 2010 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was shortlisted for the 2010 Forward Poetry Prize for the Best First Book in the UK. It was also named a finalist for the Cave Canem Prize by Sonia Sanchez.

"Running the Dusk gives us a new voice for Caribbean arts and letters, and Christian Campbell is one of the few perfectly suited to accept this mantle. His poems don't address the obvious in a tumultuous, beautiful landscape of hearts and minds, personal and public rituals, but his voice dares to take a step beyond, to bridge the diaspora of the spirit. If you're holding Running the Dusk in your hands, you are lucky to be facing the gutsy work of a long-distance runner who possesses the wit and endurance, the staying power of authentic genius. This first collection is controlled beauty and strength, and the exhilaration of images and music encountered are necessary and believable. There's great celebration here."
Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet and Global Distinguished Professor of English at NYU

"A truly auspicious debut by a brilliant young writer of wide-open ear and
versatile tongue. Campbell’s imagery slices through fog; these poems are
nourished by New World etymologies and old-school ways and wisdoms. His use of poetic form is drum-tight and yet these poems unfold like the infinity of a coast-line, sinuous and generous. In the black diaspora Campbell writes from and about, 'all angels have afros' and all poems are song. Running the Dusk is deep-souled, keen-eyed, knowing, honed, gorgeous. This is a heralding book we’ll be talking about for a long time to come."
Elizabeth Alexander, Obama's Inaugural Poet and Chair of African American Studies at Yale University

Christian Campbell studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His poetry and essays have been published widely in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and North America.