England and Nowhere
'Thanks be that we and some things are.' Kevyn Arthur's poems celebrate the provisionality of life of a 'precarious people', 'ducking from hurricanes on little lumps of rock.' His poems, the work of 'this altered dolphin', begin with an acute awareness of time and history as the distinctive difference in humankind's relationships to nature.
Kevyn Alan Arthur
ISBN number
Country setting
Trinidad and Tobago
Publication date
01 Aug 1993

His sense of the Caribbean is diverse, embracing the multiformity of its traditions. He uses a pithy and provocative humour to demolish views which are partial or narrow. Here is a voice which is lively and musical, sometimes classical in form, but always energetically demotic in using a diversity of language registers.

In several poems, but most explicitly in ‘Excerpt from 'The Whole Caboodle', Kevyn Arthur opposes the cultural politics of skin for a humanism which does not think: ‘Cogito, ergo sum Aethiops’ and where his grievance against colonialism is that it ‘made me take too long to understand/ that identity is a rudimentary fiction: that England and Barbados are Nowhere/... and we each are the Makers of the song we all sing’ (‘England and Nowhere’).

'Arthur's observations open up new vistas in the re-exploration of human possibilities... exciting.' - Mario Relich, Lines Review.

'Uses... great rolling, roaring tirades of slang, anger, lust, irony to powerful effect.' - Iron Magazine.

Novelist and poet Kevyn Arthur was born in Barbados in 1942. He has worked as a journalist and as a philosophy lecturer, and currently lives in Virginia.


Kevyn Alan Arthur

Kevyn Arthur, born in Barbados, 1942, writes:
"Spent boyhood in Trinidad and Barbados, which taught me at a very early age that truth, identity, values, differ from place to place, so naturally I eventually started writing poetry and fiction, published mainly in Bim. Worked as a chemist in Trinidad then variously as a writer for radio, newspaper and advertising, semi-pro photographer, and was a member of Derek Walcott’s Theatre Workshops, before getting a journalism scholarship to Ohio University, [1967], did general honours degree then won a scholarship to Yale Graduate School, did a Master’s degree in Philosophy; became an Oriental rug dealer/reweaver, adjunct University lecturer in English language, literature, Afro-American Lit., Philosophy - philosophy/history of science - Caribbean history."
View full profile