This series of poems operates somewhere between the Bronx, Half Way Tree (Kingston), and memory. Indian indentureship in Jamaica is epistemologically eclipsed; queer death is unmemorialized; an opening of sugar packets evokes the violence of empire. These poems reckon with loss—whether through grammar, digitization, or death. Yet there remains an abiding desire to explode the beauty of (extra)ordinary moments and scenes. Diasporic and hyperlocal, these poems entangle language(s), archives, and memory to map constellations of identities formed and complicated by colonization.
Suzanne C. Persard, born and raised in the Bronx, New York, is a queer scholar, essayist, and poet with Indo-Caribbean roots from Kingston, Jamaica. Her poem “Elegy: 1838,” a series of haikus on Indian indentureship, was featured as part of a profile in 2014 by the Smithson-ian. Currently she is a doctoral student in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Emory University.
Suzanne C. Persard; Ancestral Coda. Small Axe 1 July 2019; 23 (2 (2)): 80–88. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-7703305
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