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An interview with Shara McCallum

Gregory Luce, after reading No Ruined Stone for review, asked Shara McCallum if he could interview her. She agreed, and so his review at scene4, which labelled No Ruined Stone as 'one of this year's essential books', also includes a short interview with the poet.

Of her frequent visits to Jamaica, Shara says, 'I have reconnected with Jamaica and with my family there and poetry has played a huge role and been a bridge for me as a person between my past and present. I return as often as I can now, on the average of every year or two. When I'm not in Jamaica, I actively miss it.'

Shara also speaks about her ambivalent connections to the Scotland of Robert Burns, saying, 'The connection I feel to Scotland comes not so much through ancestral memory but from having spent a good deal of time there. Prior to writing this book, I knew and loved Robert Burns' poems. Through writing this book, I deepened my connection to his poetry and discovered his songs and many other aspects of Scottish culture that resonate with me. The land itself inspires in me the sublime. I equally cherish the warmth, openness, and terrific intelligence and sense of humour of the people I've met and with whom I've developed relationships. I feel toward Scotland love and admiration while needing to look squarely at the painful history of Scottish participation in West Indian slavery, in Jamaica in particular. All of these emotions pull in me.'

You can read the interview in full at scene4.

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