This essay argues for a comparative approach to studying and reading Black Caribbean women’s poetry. In particular, it focuses on the works of Cuban Soleida Ríos and Tobagonian Canadian M. NourbeSe Philip in their publications at the close of the 1980s. The essay asks, How does a recuperation of a poetics between Ríos and Philip enhance a study of the body? Through a close reading of two poems, it points to instances of absence and disappearance as generative signals that enable these women to transgress the silences that structure imaginative and lived experiences. In doing so, language, interiority, and grammar become critical spaces for readers to witness the transformative subjectivities that abound when journeying with these women’s poetry.
Absence and Disappearance: A Black Caribbean Women’s Poetics of the Body
Warren Harding is Deans’ Faculty Fellow and visiting assistant professor of Africana studies at Brown University, where he earned his PhD in Africana studies and AM in comparative literature. He studies twentieth-century Black Caribbean women writers and cultural producers. More broadly, he is interested in ways of reading African and Caribbean diasporic literary cultures that enhance comparative geographic, feminist, and humanistic inquiry and learning.
Warren Harding; Absence and Disappearance: A Black Caribbean Women’s Poetics of the Body. Small Axe 1 March 2022; 26 (1 (67)): 1–15. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9724009
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