Lorna Goodison's first poetry collection to be published in Canada in over nine years, Mother Muse heralds the return of a major voice. The poems in Goodison's new book move boldly and range widely; here are praise songs alongside laments; autobiography shares pages with the collective past. In her exquisitely lyrical evocations of Jamaican lore and tradition, Goodison has always shown another side of history. While celebrating a wide cross-section of women--from Mahalia Jackson to Sandra Bland--Mother Muse focuses on two under-regarded "mothers" in Jamaican music: Sister Mary Ignatius, who nurtured many of Jamaica's most gifted musicians, and celebrated dancer Anita "Margarita" Mahfood. These important figures lead a collection of formidable scope and intelligence, one that seamlessly blends the personal and the political.
About the author
Lorna Goodison was born in Jamaica in 1947. She has published several collections of poetry, including Tamarind Season (1980), I am Becoming My Mother (1986), Heartease (1989), To Us All Flowers Are Roses and Selected Poems. She has been writer in residence at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA. She currently divides her time between Michigan and Jamaica. Her volume of short stories, Baby Mother and the King of Swords, was published in 1990.
Lorna Goodison has come to be recognised as a hugely significant and influential contemporary author. Through poems rooted in her Caribbean heritage and upbringing she has created a body of enchanting, intelligent and socially aware poetry in the authentic registers of her own tongue. --Simon Armitage
[Lorna Goodison's] language is often spare and exact, and the portraits cut directly to the social realities that shape people's lives. Many of these poems are detailed studies in character and they teach much about culture: it resides in people, and by contemplating others, we expand our understanding of our culture. Lorna Goodison goes further: she maps language onto this, and it is an English deeply inflected with the speech, life and rhythms of Jamaica. --Kaie Kellough