These “subversive sonnets” overhaul the traditional sonnet form to address a range of subjects, from the tenderness of love to the terror of rape, punishment, torture, and murder. Mordecai has an unfailing ear for voices, for the music that sings and laughs and laments the stories of family, clan, and tribe. This is Pamela Mordecai’s fifth collection of poetry.
About the author
Toronto writer Pamela Mordecai is also an editor, publisher, teacher, actor, and former TV presenter. A veteran anthologist, she co-edited the ground-breaking collections Jamaica Woman and Her True-True Name, the first collection of fiction by women from English-, French-, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries. In 1993 her book Ezra's Goldfish and Other Storypoems was the first winner of the Vic Reid Award, Jamaica's top literary prize for children's literature. She has published two earlier poetry collections, Journey Poem and de Man. Her poems have been selected for numerous anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse, The Heinemann Anthology of Caribbean Poetry, Eyeing the North Star, Sisters of Caliban, and Wheel and Come Again. Poems from Certifiable have appeared in Descant, Callaloo, The Literary Review, Obsidian, Macomere, and other literary journals in Canada, Jamaica, the US, Germany, and England.
"This is a remarkable book of sonnets which are subversive in wonderful ways."
—The Caribbean Writer
"Like Pamela Mordecai’s other work, Subversive Sonnets is clever, witty, insightful and linguistically acrobatic. Never one to shy away from difficult themes, Mordecai employs the sonnet form to sing more than ‘little songs’. There is organ music here too as thematically she moves between the bottomless deeps and praise of heaven’s wonders. A courageous, affirmative, and– yes– entertaining read. A wise, highly crafted and satisfying exploration of life deeply lived in all its infinite refractions and life as we’d like it to be."
—Olive Senior, author of Dancing Lessons