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Limestone

Written by J. Edward Sumereau for Metro Spirit, Issue #20.14 on no date provided

AUGUSTA, GA - In a masterful example of poetic verse, Anthony Kellman offers a portrait of a people’s tradition in “Limestone: An Epic Poem of Barbados.”

Born in the Barbados, Anthony Kellman came to America in 1978 in search of education and an opportunity to master his written craft. Throughout the years, he has touched countless students with his passion for writing as a professor at Augusta State University. Along the way, he has authored poetic beauties including “The Black Madonna,” “The Broken Sun” and “Wings of a Stranger” while penning creative fiction such as “The Coral Rooms” and “The Houses of Alphonso.” 

Despite his previous achievements, the pure power of his imaginative craft comes full force in his latest release. The result of fourteen years of work, “Limestone” crafts an intricate portrait of the people, traditions, and sadness that have shaped the present-day Barbados.

From the destruction of the Amerindians to the present day, Kellman’s epic pulls at the chords of the reader’s heart and mind with an intimate power. Based on the rhythms of the Tuk, Kellman crafts his own form of Tuk verse in the composition of this masterpiece.

Beginning with an exploration of the pain, sadness, and perseverance of African slaves, Kellman delves into the 1816 Slave Revolt through the eyes of imagined and historical characters in the face of conflict and turmoil. Following the historical concerns of Barbados forward, Kellman delves into the frustration and struggle in the post-emancipation period concerning the give and take nature of progression within the country. In so doing, he takes the opportunity of this second part of his epic, to search for answers to deep questions concerning racial motives, economic benefits derived from a painful past, and domination versus subordination in a stratified class existence. 

Finally, Kellman wraps his mind around contemporary Barbados. In so doing, he undertakes an assessment of a musician and a schoolteacher, which provides a picture of the lives of contemporary Barbadians in search of goals. Within this framework, he seeks to understand and express the intermingled elements of frustration and pride faced by contemporary Barbadians facing a lack of opportunities in the land they love. 

In all these fashions, Kellman offers a glimpse of a style of work no often seen in this world of late. With intricate, delicate strokes, he paints an epic portrait of the lives, emotions, conflicts, and concerns of a land while exposing the power of perseverance in the lives of these people. 

With a wonderful eye for rhythmic expression and a fascinating view of historical elements, Kellman delivers an epic worthy of supreme praise. 

Kellman, Anthony. “Limestone: An Epic Poem of Barbados.” Leeds, United Kingdom: Peepal Tree Press Limited. 2008. 208pp. $22.95 Paper. ISBN: 9781845230035.

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