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The Collected Poems of Édouard Glissant

2019
Author:

Édouard Glissant
Jeff Humphries, Editor
Translated by Jeff Humphries and Melissa Manolas
Introduction by Jeff Humphries

The Collected Poems of Édouard Glissant

Paperback edition forthcoming in June 2019


The complete poems of the finalist for the Nobel Prize in Literature—now in paper

This volume collects and translates—most for the first time—the nine volumes of poetry published by Édouard Glissant, one of the great writers of the twentieth century. The poems bring to life what Glissant calls “an archipelago-like reality,” partaking of the exchanges between Europe and its former colonies, between humans and their geographies, between the poet and the natural world. 

"The magnificent work of one of the most important contemporary novelists, essayists, and poets in the field of what we in Europe and North America call postcolonial literature."
American Book Review

This volume collects and translates the nine volumes of poetry published by Édouard Glissant—a poet, novelist, and critic recognized as one of the great writers of the twentieth century. The poems bring to life what Glissant called “an archipelago-like reality,” partaking of the exchanges between Europe and its former colonies, between humans and their geographies, between the poet and the natural world. Reciting and re-creating histories of the African diaspora, Columbus’s “discovery” of the New World, the slave trade, and the West Indies, Glissant underscores the role of poetic language in irrevocably changing both past and present. As translator Jeff Humphries wrote in his Introduction, Glissant’s poetry embraced the aesthetic creed of the French symbolists Mallarmé and Rimbaud (“The poet must make himself into a seer”) and aims at nothing less than a hallucinatory experience of imagination in which the differences among poem, reader, and subject dissolve into one immediate present.

The Collected Poems of Édouard Glissant

Jeff Humphries was Louisiana State University Foundation Distinguished Professor of French, English, and Comparative Literature. He published several books of poetry, fiction, essays, and literary criticism, including Borealis (Minnesota, 2002).

Édouard Glissant (1928–2011) was one of the most influential postcolonial theorists, novelists, playwrights, and poets not only in the Caribbean but also in contemporary French letters. He has twice been a finalist for the Nobel Prize in Literature as well as the recipient of the Prix Renaudot and the Prix Charles Veillon in France. His works include Poetics of Relation, Caribbean Discourse, Faulkner Mississippi, and the novel The Ripening. He was Distinguished Professor of French at Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The Collected Poems of Édouard Glissant

The magnificent work of one of the most important contemporary novelists, essayists, and poets in the field of what we in Europe and North America call postcolonial literature.

American Book Review

Reading or re-reading these texts, published over half a century, one is struck by the power of this poetry, the extraordinary persistence in its original inspiration and the manner in which it announces and then exemplifies the theories developed in Poetics of Relation or Caribbean Discourse.

Literature and Arts of the Americas