When the first edition of this collection of work by one of the Caribbean's major poets appeared in 1992, it was recognised as one of the most important Caribbean publishing events of recent years, collecting Eric Roach's poems published in literary journals between 1938-1973, early pseudonymous work and a substantial selection of unpublished poems from manuscript. This second edition, on the basis of work by Laurence Breiner, corrects a number of mistranscriptions and other errors, adds a rediscovered poem and includes significant variants of a number of Roach’s most important poems.
Compiled by Danielle Gianetti
Introduced and edited by Kenneth Ramchand
Ian McDonald writes: 'This is an extremely important book. Before its appearance no literary historian or critic, let alone lover of poetry, will have been able to measure the full richness of West Indian poetic creation. One always suspected that Eric Roach was one of the major West Indian poets. This book consolidates his name in a pantheon which includes at least Claude McKay, Derek Walcott, Louise Bennett, Martin Carter and Kamau Brathwaite. I think what I respond to most is Roach's passion for the land and the people, both of which are so clearly and categorically West Indian. The intense feeling that informs his best poetry - and so much of the poetry is good - expresses a very specific yearning for a shared identity which will leap over island isolation and bind together our fragmented historical consciousness into a coherent whole.'
'This first publication of Roach’s poetic corpus is quite simply a major literary event.' Laurence Breiner CRNLE