Reference : Breaking the Mould: Escaping the term "Black British Poetry" in the Work of Jackie Ka...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Literature
Breaking the Mould: Escaping the term "Black British Poetry" in the Work of Jackie Kay and Bernardine Evaristo
Burkitt, Katharine [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des langues et littératures modernes > Département des langues et littératures modernes >]
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses
University of La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
[en] Black British poetry ; race ; nation ; regional identity ; transnationalism ; poetic form
[en] This article will discuss the work of Bernardine Evaristo and Jackie Kay in the context of
"black British" poetry. I will argue that in both poets' work the discussion of identities
which are hybrid, complex and conflicted in terms of race and nation are further complicated
as the exploration of gender and sexuality focuses on the personal and disrupts all
classifications that are collective. Focussing on poems from Jackie Kay's Darling: New and
Selected Poems (2007) and Bernardine Evaristo's verse-novels Lara (1997) and The Emperor's
Babe (2001) I will argue that as gender, sexuality, family relationships and motherhood,
linguistic, cultural and poetic differences replace discussion of race and nation these writers
present a post-racial and transnational understanding of the UK in the context of which
easy labels, like "Black British" poetry are always up for debate. Furthermore, I will also
suggest that Kay and Evaristo adapt poetic forms and push at their boundaries in order to
accommodate their anomalous standpoints. Therefore just as "Black" and "British" become
uncertain terms, so "Poetry" is also debated.
CEREP (Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Etudes Postcoloniales)
Researchers ; Students

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