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Border Zone

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John Agard has been broadening the canvas of British poetry for the past 40 years with his mischievous, satirical fables which overturn all our expectations. His ninth Bloodaxe collection, Border Zone, explores a far-reaching canvas of British/Caribbean transatlantic connections, sweeping across centuries and continents. His border territory ranges from Love in a Sceptred John Agard has been broadening the canvas of British poetry for the past 40 years with his mischievous, satirical fables which overturn all our expectations. His ninth Bloodaxe collection, Border Zone, explores a far-reaching canvas of British/Caribbean transatlantic connections, sweeping across centuries and continents. His border territory ranges from Love in a Sceptred Isle, a novella-like narrative poem of a romance between Barbados-born photographer, Victor, and Welsh librarian, Rihannon, told with lyrical tenderness and thought-provoking wit, to Casanova the Philosopher, a sequence of sonnets in the voice of the legendary Venetian philosophically observing 18th-century English ways in a tongue-in-cheek memoir and travelogue. This is a diverse collection where the thought-provokingly mischievous, bawdy and elegaic rub shoulders alongside the sequence The Plants Are Staying Put – with the poet turning overnight lockdown gardener – as well as calypso poems, where the Guyana-born winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry puts on his hat as ‘poetsonian’, a term he coined in the 80s in tribute to the inventive lyrics of the calypsonian, a crucial strand of Agard’s varied, innovative, and often satirical poetic output.


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John Agard has been broadening the canvas of British poetry for the past 40 years with his mischievous, satirical fables which overturn all our expectations. His ninth Bloodaxe collection, Border Zone, explores a far-reaching canvas of British/Caribbean transatlantic connections, sweeping across centuries and continents. His border territory ranges from Love in a Sceptred John Agard has been broadening the canvas of British poetry for the past 40 years with his mischievous, satirical fables which overturn all our expectations. His ninth Bloodaxe collection, Border Zone, explores a far-reaching canvas of British/Caribbean transatlantic connections, sweeping across centuries and continents. His border territory ranges from Love in a Sceptred Isle, a novella-like narrative poem of a romance between Barbados-born photographer, Victor, and Welsh librarian, Rihannon, told with lyrical tenderness and thought-provoking wit, to Casanova the Philosopher, a sequence of sonnets in the voice of the legendary Venetian philosophically observing 18th-century English ways in a tongue-in-cheek memoir and travelogue. This is a diverse collection where the thought-provokingly mischievous, bawdy and elegaic rub shoulders alongside the sequence The Plants Are Staying Put – with the poet turning overnight lockdown gardener – as well as calypso poems, where the Guyana-born winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry puts on his hat as ‘poetsonian’, a term he coined in the 80s in tribute to the inventive lyrics of the calypsonian, a crucial strand of Agard’s varied, innovative, and often satirical poetic output.

9 review for Border Zone

  1. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    Absolutely Stellar!!! I gwine reread it right now. I've come a long way from ribbons on spears and garlands of feathers heading a fanfare of tribal others. ... for I too have heard of that feeling called national pride from the well-informed lips of the transatlantic winds that keep me flapping as well as up-to-date on history's shifting weight, excerpt from Flag Speaks 🖋🖋🖋🖋🖋 Agard certainly has a way with rhythm and words and how to effectively use both to chat history, love, migration, reactions, and intera Absolutely Stellar!!! I gwine reread it right now. I've come a long way from ribbons on spears and garlands of feathers heading a fanfare of tribal others. ... for I too have heard of that feeling called national pride from the well-informed lips of the transatlantic winds that keep me flapping as well as up-to-date on history's shifting weight, excerpt from Flag Speaks 🖋🖋🖋🖋🖋 Agard certainly has a way with rhythm and words and how to effectively use both to chat history, love, migration, reactions, and interactions. He is speaking with the voice of immigrant, Caribbean lover, fighter, and rebel, so it is difficult to not be swept up in the issues he raises, overturns and spins on their heads. 🖋🖋🖋🖋🖋 He takes us from city to countryside, to manor and bridge, from legacy to discrepancy, using the markets, streets, biscuits, and even the river Thames to trace the morphing face of Britain. He speaks to colonialism and its remnants, to the empire, to former poets and persons of letters, allowing us to share in his thoughts on their legacy. 🖋🖋🖋🖋🖋 I could feel the vibrations of dub and the smooth flow and cadence of spoken word as I read these poems and it just swept me up in a cascade of feeling. What I absolutely enjoyed is the sensual rudeness that some poems exuded that just resonated with Caribbean flare and style. His wit shines through brilliantly and if you love poetry this is a collection for you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    This is a new poet for me. I’ve never read his work though there are plenty of titles at the National Poetry library so I might check them out. I enjoyed Border Zone. The first poem is a little too long for my liking but is well written and engaging so this wasn’t an issue. I enjoyed the range of subjects, themes and styles on offer.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lex with the Text (Alexis Sims)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Badri

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allison Bernard

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jack D

  8. 4 out of 5

    NatakaBooks

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hermione

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