In this collection, acclaimed Jamaican poet Kei Miller dramatizes what happens when one system of knowledge, one method of understanding place and territory, comes up against another. We watch as the cartographer, used to the scientific methods of assuming control over a place by mapping it, is gradually compelled to recognize—even to envy—a wholly different understanding of place, as he tries to map his way to the rastaman’s eternal city of Zion. As the book unfolds the cartographer learns that, on this island of roads that “constrict like throats,” every place-name comes freighted with history, and not every place that can be named can be found.
Kei Miller is a creative writing instructor and an author. His work has appeared in Caribbean Beat, Caribbean Writer, Obsydian III, and Snow Monkey. He is the author of the award-winning The Fear of Stones and Kingdom of Empty Bellies, A Light Song of Light, The Same Earth, and There Is an Anger That Moves. He is the editor of New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology and has been a visiting writer at York University in Toronto, Ontario; a Vera Ruben Fellow at Yaddo; and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow.
“Raise high the roofbeams, here comes a strong new presence in poetry. . . . Kei Miller’s voice speaks and sings with rare confidence and authority.” —Lorna Goodison, Jamaican poet and professor, University of Michigan