e-Duke Books

Castaway

By Yvette Christiansë

In Castaway Yvette Christiansë presents an epic yet fragmented poetic story set off the coast of Africa on the island of St. Helena: Napoleon Bonaparte’s final place of exile, a port of call for the slave trade, and birthplace of the poet’s grandmother. Amid echoes of racialized identity and issues of displacement, the poems in Castaway speak with a multiplicity of voices—from Ferñao Lopez (the island’s first exile) and Napoleon to that of a contemporary black woman. Castaway is simultaneously a song of discovery, an anthem of conquest, and a tortured lamentation of exiles and slaves.

Instead of offering a linear narrative, Christiansë renders the poems as if they were emerging from the pages of imaginary books, documents now disrupted and scattered. An emperor’s point of view is juxtaposed with the perspectives of various explorers, sailors, and unknown slaves until finally they all open upon the book’s “castaway,” the authorial female voice that negotiates a way to write about love and desire after centuries of oppression and exploitation.

Daring and sophisticated, Castaway challenges and captivates the reader with not only its lyrical richness and conceptual depth but also its implicit and haunting reflections on diaspora and postcolonialism. It will be highly regarded by readers and writers of poetry and will appeal to those engaged with issues of race, gender, exile, multiculturalism, colonialism, and history.

  1. Page 1
  2. Page 5
  3. Page 10
  4. Page 11
  5. Page 16
  6. Page 17
  7. Page 19
  8. Page 21
  9. Page 23
  10. Page 27
  11. Page 29
  12. Page 31
  13. Page 32
  14. Page 33
  15. Page 34
  16. Page 35
  17. Page 36
  18. Page 38
  19. Page 39
  20. Page 41
  21. Page 43
  22. Page 45
  23. Page 47
  24. Page 48
  25. Page 49
  26. Page 51
  27. Page 52
  28. Page 53
  29. Page 55
  30. Page 57
  31. Page 59
  32. Page 61
  33. Page 62
  34. Page 63
  35. Page 64
  36. Page 65
  37. Page 66
  38. Page 68
  39. Page 70
  40. Page 71
  41. Page 72
  42. Page 73
  43. Page 74
  44. Page 76
  45. Page 77
  46. Page 78
  47. Page 79
  48. Page 81
  49. Page 85
  50. Page 86
  51. Page 87
  52. Page 88
  53. Page 89
  54. Page 90
  55. Page 91
  56. Page 92
  57. Page 93
  58. Page 94
  59. Page 95
  60. Page 96
  61. Page 97
  62. Page 98
  63. Page 100
  64. Page 101
  65. Page 102
  66. Page 103
  67. Page 104
  68. Page 105
  69. Page 107
  70. Page 108
  71. Page 111
  72. Page 113