Axis and Revolution

The themes of the collection “Axis and Revolution”, my fourth book of poetry, range from poetry as autobiography to the contemporary legacy of slavery, a topic that has engaged my critical as well as creative writing.

In the poem “Focal Length,” the sight of a blurred face in a photograph prompts a reflection on the possibility of loving two people at once. “Hangklip” narrates an underwater crossing of the turbulent False Bay to the place east of Cape Town where runaway slaves sought sanctuary and formed brief and often doomed communities. A series of poems titled “Songs of the Husband” tell of men in moments of vulnerability and tenderness, one because of illness and another after the death of his wife. These works portray South African men through a new lens, beyond their fraught association with violence in the country.

The aim in this manuscript, which I hope to complete at STIAS, is to create poetic language unafraid of difficulty and pain, but also equal to the intricacies of love and selfhood, the ethical charge of remembering painful pasts and the vital need to imagine new futures.

Project leader(s):
  • Gabeba Baderoon (Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies, Penn State University)

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