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Poetry Canadian

Land to Light On

by (author) Dionne Brand

Publisher
McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 1997
Category
Canadian, Women Authors, Places
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780771016455
    Publish Date
    Apr 1997
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

Land to Light On opens onto the landscape of Canada. “Out here I am…not even safe as the sea,” she writes. “If I am peaceful…is not peace,/is getting used to harm.” Brand writes about a place where she is an outsider – as any poet or painter must be – and also about the many outsiders who have come here and settled over the years, uncomfortable with the land and its people, uncomfortable sometimes with themselves.

No one writes about this country like Brand, free of post-colonial cant yet selvedged with Black suffering in the Americas. Speaking of memory but without a longing for the past, these poems hover between story and song; between groundings of life, wherever your landfall, and the grace of love and light. They ring with a poet’s hesitations, a woman’s praise and prayer for her people and their place. “It always takes long to come to what you have to say, you have to/sweep this stretch of land up around your feet and point to the/signs, pleat whole histories with pins in your mouth and guess/at the fall of words.”

About the author

 

Dionne Brand is internationally known for her poetry, fiction, and essays. She has received many awards, notably the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Trillium Award (Land to Light On), 1997), the Pat Lowther Award (Thirsty, 2005), the City of Toronto Book Award (What We All Long For, 2006), and the Harbourfront Festival Award (2006), given in recognition of her substantial contribution to literature. She is a professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.

Leslie C. Sanders is a professor at York University, where she teaches African American and Black Canadian literature. She is the author of The Development of Black Theatre in America, the editor of two volumes of Langston Hughes’s performance works, and a general editor of the Collected Works of Langston Hughes. She has written essays on African American and Black Canadian literature.

 

Dionne Brand's profile page

Awards

  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award - Poetry

Editorial Reviews

“As behind most of our human celebrations, there are tragedies being played out behind the curtain of joy, for Brand is well aware of the world’s longings and despairs, how we are all the offspring of slaves, and/or – what is so much harder to bear – the offspring of slave owners.”
Quill & Quire

“Brand’s distinguished voice and articulate vision situate her galaxies beyond most contemporary practitioners of poetry.”
Globe and Mail

“Brand’s poetry is confrontational/confessionalism. She uses her life experiences to talk about oppression of many sorts in the Caribbean and Canada. She attempts to find links between different kinds of oppression – and that is the strength of her work. It is multilayered. There may be a nihilist tendency – but it is justified.”
–George Elliott Clarke

“You don’t read Dionne Brand, you hear her.”
Toronto Life

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