The Flowering Rock
This is a second, significantly revised, edition of the work of Eric Roach who, with Claude McKay and Louise Bennett, was the Caribbean’s most important poet before the generation of Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite. Edited and introduced by Professor Kenneth Ramchand.
Eric Roach
ISBN number
Caribbean Modern Classics
Country setting
Trinidad and Tobago
Publication date
15 Dec 2012

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Roach's poems published in literary journals between 1938-1973, early pseudonymous work and a substantial selection of unpublished poems from manuscript.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


Eric Roach

Eric Merton Roach was born in 1915 in Mount Pleasant, Tobago. He became a schoolteacher after leaving Bishop’s High School in Tobago. He joined the army in Trinidad in 1939. His first poems, some written as Merton Maloney, date from this period. After the war he returned to Tobago as a civil servant. He married in 1952 and in 1954 he left his job to devote his time to writing.
View full profile