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Fault Lines

If you want to feel what it’s like to live on a small island, vulnerable to the wounded thrashings of world capitalism in crisis, an island where livelihoods are destroyed at the flourish of a Brussel’s bureaucrat’s pen, where Paradise is a tourist cruise ship come to remind you of your neo-colonial status, where global consumerism has poisoned the ambitions of the young into drugs, crime and violence, then the poems in Fault Lines, dread, urgent prophecies of “a black sky beyond”, are indispensible guides.


Kendel Hippolyte
St Lucia
Date published
30 Jul 2012

With the verbal urgency of Ginsberg’s Howl, a visionary imagination that shares the company of Blake, Fault Lines confirms Kendel Hippolyte’s reputation as one of the Caribbean’s most important poets. What he does brilliantly is catch in the same poem both a precision of observation and the indeterminacy of the observing mind, the awareness that “whatever drove us was also banishing/what we were driven to”. And there is not only that kind of doubleness, but the stunning ability to create poems that appear to observe themselves in their moment of creation, like “Silverfish” with its radical truth that “the secret all empires must suppress, in order, to metastasize into empires” is “the I-magination [that] lives beyond our ordering and is our ordering.”

Awarded the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry

'Perhaps the outstanding poet of his generation' The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry Kendel Hippolyte was born in St.Lucia in 1952, he studied and lived in Jamaica in the 1970s, where he explored his talents as a poet, playwright and director.

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Kendel Hippolyte

Kendel Hippolyte is a poet, playwright and director. Born and living in St Lucia, he has published seven books of poetry, and his work has appeared in journals such as The Greenfield Review and The Massachusetts Review, and in numerous anthologies, including Caribbean Poetry Now, Voiceprint, and West Indian Poetry.

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