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Kamau Brathwaite, 1930–2020


I am stunned and saddened to hear of the passing of the great Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite. His work was pivotal to Make It the Same, and it continues to shape and change the way I think about poetry, media, culture, globalization, colonialism, imperialism, and history. Despite the recognition that his work received in his lifetime, I continue to believe that it deserves much fuller and wider attention and that there is much more to say about his enormous contribution to Caribbean culture, history, poetry, and, perhaps less recognized, media practice and theory. Others are much more qualified than me to me to write about his contribution to Caribbean culture, and it will take me some time before I can add to what I have already written about the relevance of his work to worldwide changes in poetry, literature, media, and culture at large. For now, my thoughts are with his family and friends. For those who knew him primarily through his extraordinary work, we at least have the comfort of being able to continue to read his writings and to listen to his voice.


Published by Jacob Edmond

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, 2019), A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012), and of numerous essays, which have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, Slavic Review, and The China Quarterly.

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