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Stewart Brown has been described as 'one of the most exciting and original poets currently writing' and praised by Fred D'Aguiar for the 'peculiar chameleon-like power of his imagination to belong anywhere and to any experience without becoming compromised'.


Stewart Brown
Pan African, Pan Caribbean, United Kingdom
Date published
1 Nov 1999

The poems in this collection encompass Africa, the Caribbean, Wales and England; and range from the sweep of imperial history and its painful aftermath, to the intimacies of domestic life. He writes of Africa and the Caribbean with a rare combination of sympathy, honesty and inwardness, while never pretending to be other than an Englishman abroad. He writes affectionately but without sentiment of 'ordinary' English life from the perspective of one who has been elsewhere, in ways which allow us to see it afresh.

But if these poems have a passionate concern with love, politics, history and the natural world, they are no less concerned with the shaping power of art, both as a subject and in the poems' own formation.

Elsewhere brings together, frequently in much revised form, the best work from his earlier much praised collections (Mekin Foolishness, Zinder and Lugard's Bridge) with many new poems. The long sequence 'Elsewhere', which brings Brown's painterly eye and witty humanity to the experience of living in the Caribbean, and 'Elmina', a moving and imaginative meditation on an Englishman's sense of complicity in the history of the slave trade, will further enhance his reputation.

Adele Newson writes in World Literature Today: 'Stewart Brown’s volume of poetry Elsewhere is reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place set to verse. The personas adopted by the poets in various parts of the Caribbean, Great Britain, and Africa speak to an ever-present awareness of ""exiles, strangers, parasites."" The world of the poet fashioned by Brown is collaborative, thought-provoking, and startling. In sum, the poems provide a response from a pensive citizen of the metropolis to the wreckage to be found in modern-day, former colonies.'

Stewart Brown is the editor of several major anthologies as well as critical studies of Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite and Martin Carter.

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Stewart Brown

Born 1951 in Southampton, Stewart Brown studied art and literature at Falmouth School of Art, the University of Sussex and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He spent periods teaching in schools and universities in Jamaica, Nigeria, Wales and Barbados. Since 1988 he has taught in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology (formerly Centre of West African Studies) at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Reader in Caribbean Literature and was for some years the Director of the Centre. He has travelled widely through West Africa and the Caribbean in relation to both his research and creative writing, and lectured for the British Council in both regions.

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