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Longlisted for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize - Poetry Category


Shara McCallum
Jamaica, United States of America
Date published
23 Jan 2017

“These wonderful poems open a world of sensation and memory. But it is a world revealed by language, never just controlled. The voice that guides the action here is openhearted and openminded—a lyric presence that never deserts the subject or the reader. Syntax, craft and cadence add to the gathering music from poem to poem with—to use a beautiful phrase from the book, ‘each note tethering sound to meaning.’”
—Eavan Boland

“Shara McCallum is like a great marathoner traversing myth, mind, and memory. Her work steers us through the heart of troubled landscapes, as well as the landscapes of the troubled heart. ‘In the country where she lives which is no country, the madwoman maps desire’s coordinates onto her body,’ she writes in this wise, fiery new collection. There are no other poets writing with McCallum’s beautiful intensities of form and feeling.”
—Terrance Hayes 

Madwoman is McCallum’s fifth collection of poetry.  Haunting and elusive, the poems in Shara McCallum's Madwoman are also transformative, seeking to chart and intertwine three stages of a mother's life from childhood to adulthood to motherhood. Rich with the complexities that join these states of being, the poems wrestle with the idea of being girl, woman and mother at once. McCallum questions how we form our identities and who shapes those identities for us.

Tour dates UK May 2017

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Shara McCallum

Shara McCallum is in the UK for a short tour in May 2017, in partnership with Renaissance One. Originally from Jamaica, Shara lives in Pennsylvania where she is Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry and a Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Bucknell University.

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