This dual language selection of Martin Carter's poems, edited by David Dabydeen, translated into Spanish by Salvador Ortiz-Carbonares and with an introduction by Gemma Robinson, will establish very clearly that Carter is a major South American poet, in the company of Valejo, Neruda and Paz.
As Ian McDonald writes: 'What we have is enough to prove, if proof has been needed... that Martin Carter is, without reservation, one of the finest poets to have emerged in the Caribbean region. And the varied subtlety and strength of his poetry carries him without any doubt into the first rank of world poets. Long after the politics which prompted a number of his poems have been forgotten, and long after the society which he often so scathingly indicted has been changed utterly the poetry will continue to strike a chord among new generations.'
The late Martin Carter was without doubt one of the Caribbean's major poets, only less well known than Walcott and Brathwaite because he rarely left his native Guyana. He came to notice first for his Poems of Resistance (1954) written out of his experiences of the anti-colonial struggle which included his imprisonment by the British for his political activities. His work has been a major influence on the current generation of Caribbean poets as John Agard, David Dabydeen, Fred D'Aguiar, Kwame Dawes, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Grace Nichols among others have elsewhere testified.
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Martin Carter was born in Guyana in 1927. He first came to attention with Poems of Resistance in 1954. He is unquestionably one of the three great West Indian poets of his generation. He died in 1997.