October 3, 2017
8.25 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$24.95 USD, £18.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Lazarus Poems

This book by the great Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite is characteristically sui generis, vatic, and strange, exhibiting ornery bravura. Tonally and typographically frenetic in the 'sycorax video style' he's been employing for decades, the work examines a major theme appropriate to a great poet in the late stages of his career: that of the afterlife. Brathwaite performs a kind of spiritual/aesthetic GPS in his poetry and is is a poet of undeniable stature, writing the final poems of his career. Central to the book is a series of poems outlining the speaker's (the poet's) experiences with what he calls "Cultural Lynching." These poems speak of appropriation, theft, isolation, and exploitation, all within a context of an American hegemony that intensifies the racial politics and ageism underlying the events described. The speaker's pain and outrage are almost overwhelming. Filled with longing, rage, nostalgia, impotence, wisdom, and love, this book is moving in every sense of the word.

About the Author

KAMAU BRATHWAITE (1930–2020) was an internationally celebrated poet, performer, and cultural theorist. He won numerous awards, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Griffin Poetry Prize. A retired professor of comparative literature at New York University, Brathwaite lived in CowPastor, Barbados.


"Brathwaite's work here is jagged, politically engaged ... Fragments of reportage, song, and dream abut slippery linguistic ruins in his trademark Sycorax video style, which features wildly varying layout and typography."—Publishers Weekly


"No one writes like Kamau Brathwaite. He is a poet of global importance. The book is an intimate, mystical lens to gaze across time periods and literary modes and frames. The overall effect is mesmerizing, even transcendent, from his lush, mystical descriptions of island nature to his totally unexpected arresting invitation to a beheading. This is a mystical, liberatory, heartbreaking book."—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Dead Youth, or, The Leaks

"This book is Kamau Brathwaite's grand, retrospective understanding of his entire poetics—which has extended and developed and ramified across well over half a century of enormous human change. It is also a culmination of his insistent, original vision. Lazarus, recalled from the dead, is reprised in the history of the collective mind of a once enslaved and now resurrected people—a mind embodied in the individual mind of this magnificent poet and called back to life by his absolute freedom to speak."—Vijay Seshadri, Sarah Lawrence College
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819576873 : the-lazarus-poems-brathwaite
120 Pages
$24.95 USD

Other Titles by Kamau Brathwaite


Kamau Brathwaite
Dec 2010 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles from Wesleyan Poetry Series

Asked What Has Changed

Ed Roberson
Jan 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Be Brave to Things

Jack Spicer, edited by Daniel Katz
Oct 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback

The Past

Wendy Xu
Sep 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$25.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in POETRY / General

BAX 2020

Seth Abramson, Jesse Damiani, edited by Carmen Maria Machado, Joyelle McSweeney
Dec 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$15.99 USD - Electronic book text

Bread Crumbs

Cynthia Tremblay
Jun 2020 - Lynx House Press
$12.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Sleeping and Waking

Albert Goldbarth
May 2020 - Lost Horse Press
$18.00 USD - Paperback / softback