This collection brings together for the first time the work of one of the Caribbean's major poets. It collects the poems published in journals between 1938-1973, Roach's early pseudonymous work and a substantial selection of his unpublished poems from manuscript. The collection is edited and introduced by Professor Kenneth Ramchand.
Kamau Brathwaite describes Roach as ‘the most splendid voice of the Caribbean Renaissance (1948-1972)’ with his ‘precious confounded Yeatsian & still utterly Caribbean statements’.
Ian McDonald writes: 'This is an extremely important book. Before its appearance no literary historian or critic, let alone lover of poetry, will have been able to measure the full richness of West Indian poetic creation. One always suspected that Eric Roach was one of the major West Indian poets. This book consolidates his name in a pantheon which includes at least Claude McKay, Derek Walcott, Louise Bennett, Martin Carter and Kamau Brathwaite.'
'I think what I respond to most is Roach's passion for the land and the people, both of which are so clearly and categorically West Indian. The intense feeling that informs his best poetry - and so much of the poetry is good - expresses a very specific yearning for a shared identity which will leap over island isolation and bind together our fragmented historical consciousness into a coherent whole.'
Laurence Breiner writes in CRNLE: 'This first publication of Roach’s poetic corpus is quite simply a major literary event.'
Read a poem from this collection
See reviews for this book
Eric Merton Roach was born in 1915 in Tobago. He wrote three plays: Belle Fanto (1967), Letter from Leonora (1968) and A Calabash of Blood (1971). He died by his own hand in 1974.