God's Spider
What is at the heart of Cyril Dabydeen’s poetry is an acute sense of geography as both space and time. It is a sense that begins in personal biography, of the writer born in Guyana, long settled in Canada and conscious of his ancestral connections to India.
Cyril Dabydeen
ISBN number
Country setting
Publication date
17 Nov 2014

Place frequently provides the subject matter and the metaphorical threads that run through the collection. Poems are drawn to hinterlands and interiors both as actual places and as mental landscapes and as a metaphor for the interior life of the poem – frequently independent of the writer’s conscious intentions. Poems investigate journeyings and borders that connect to the adventure of engaging with the otherness of encountered people. Poems celebrate identities that can never be other than as multi-layered as the places that shaped them. 

Cyril Dabydeen writes with lyric grace, but perhaps his most characteristic voice is conversational, often witty and amused in its sharing of experiences as diverse as the incidents of travel, cricket, and the absurd pretensions of the literary world. 

In these conversations with the reader, the poems make enlightening connections between ancient Greece and Amerindian myth in Guyana; the present and the buried voices of the past. 

In paying homage to the great Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, Cyril Dabydeen signals that he too is a rejector of absolutes, in search of multiple possibilities.


Cyril Dabydeen

Cyril Dabydeen teaches Creative Writing at the University of Ottawa, and is a former Poet Laureate of Ottawa (1984-87). His work has appeared in over 60 literary magazines and anthologies world-wide. He has done more than 300 readings internationally and has twice adjudicated for the Governor General's Award (Poetry) and the USA Neustadt International Prize for Literature (UOklahoma) in 2000.
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