The Trickster's Tongue
This pan-African anthology of poetry in translation is unrivalled in its historical, geographic and aesthetic scope. The material ranges from the time of the ancient Nubian King Piankhy to the contemporary Cuban poet Nancy Morejón.
Mark De Brito
ISBN number
Country setting
Pan African
Pan Caribbean
Publication date
29 Jan 2007

Much of the unique selection appears in English translation for the first time in this work. These are outstanding new translations, both precise and literary, which clearly reveal the beauty of the originals.

The Trickster’s Tongue contains poetry from continental Africa and from the diasporas of the Caribbean, Brazil and Hispanic America: poetry in a variety of genres, both oral and literary, ancient and modern, from the lyrical to the philosophical, and from sacred incantations to verse by former slaves and poetry of anti-colonial protest. The book is both representative and fresh: it contains the work of well-known writers such as Nicolás Guillén and Léopold Sédar Senghor, as well as important but little translated poets such as the Brazilian João da Cruz e Sousa and the Mozambican José Craveirinha.

The author provides a scholarly introduction, which examines changing ideas about writing and identity. Each translated poem or excerpt is discussed in a critical commentary, which explains context, allusion, and poetic technique. The book includes a guide to further reading, biographical notes on translated authors, and a comprehensive bibliography.

Poet, critic, translator, and musician, Mark Angelo de Brito was born in London in 1963 into a family originally from Trinidad. He studied music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Mark de Brito has published two books of original verse: Heron’s Canoe (Peepal Tree, 2003) and Bigistong (Darengo, 1996). He co-edits the journal Seshat: cross-cultural perspectives in poetry and philosophy.


Mark De Brito

Mark de Brito was born in London in 1963, the child of immigrant parents from Trinidad. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music, and received a New London Writers award for his first collection, Bigistong (Darengo Publications, 1996).
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