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Authors: John Agard

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781852244804

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Anansi, the trickster god and Spiderhero of West African folktales, is the spinning voice at the hub of John Agard's Come Down Nansi. Here the eight-legged one pits wits against larger creatures, and in the guise of uncle and auntie, leaves the ceiling to engage with mythic beginnings, transatlantic trade, migration and metropolitan life. Along the way Anansi goes walkies with eight dogs in Hyde Park, cops the lead role in Swan Lake and reshuffles the books of Prospero.

With Man to Pan and Limbo Dancer in Dark Glasses, this new cycle forms an orchestrated trilogy, Weblines, where Agard explores what he sees as three powerful Caribbean metaphors of transfiguration: the steeldrum (spider-pan with its webbed concave belly), the limbo dancer, as spider-limbed god spinning cosmic bridges; and Anansi, the transforming Spider, weaving old continents in mythopoetic webs.

"One of the most eloquent contemporary poets... From the Devil's Pulpit is very much a tour de force, knowing, rich in literary and cultural allusion, yet as direct as a voice in the bus queue."
Helen Dunmore, Observer

Poet, performer, anthologist, John Agard was born in Guyana and came to Britain in 1977. He won the Casa de las AmÈricas Prize in 1982, and a Paul Hamlyn Award in 1997. He was writer-in-residence with the BBC in 1998, working with the Windrush Project, and writer-in-residence at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich in 2007. His books include five collections from Bloodaxe, From the Devilís Pulpit (1997), Weblines (2000), and We Brits (2006), which was shortlisted for the 2007 Decibel Writer of the Year Award; and now Alternative Anthem: Selected Poems and Clever Backbone, published simultaneously in 2009. His anthology Hello New (2000), published by Orchard Books, was chosen by the Poetry Society as its Childrenís Poetry Bookshelf Best Anthology. He won the CLPE Poetry Award 2009 for The Young Inferno (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2008). He lives in Lewes, East Sussex.
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