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Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. He divides his time between Jamaica and the UK and is currently teaching Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. He has published several collections of poetry and a book of short stories published by Macmillan Caribbean, THE FEAR OF STONES, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's prize for Best First Book.
Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2014. Winner of the 2014 Forward Prize for Best Collection. We watch as the cartographer, used to the scientific methods of assuming control over a place by mapping it, is gradually compelled to recognize--even to envy--a wholly different understanding of place, as he tries to map his way to the rastaman's eternal city of Zion. As the book unfolds the cartographer learns that, on this island of roads that constrict like throats, every place-name comes freighted with history, and not every place that can be named can be found.
We follow Adamine as she grows up in Jamaica, discovering through her church that she has a gift of ‘warning’. This gift is respected in her homeland but when she moves to England she discovers her prophecies are seen more as a sign of madness and she is institutionalised. Now as an old woman she wants to tell her story. A moving and bittersweet tale.
July 2010 Book of the Month. We follow Adamine as she grows up in Jamaica, discovering through her church that she has a gift of ‘warning’. This gift is respected in her homeland but when she moves to England she discovers her prophecies are seem more as a sign of madness and she is institutionalised. Now as an old woman she wants to tell her story. A moving and bittersweet tale. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
Comparisons will inevitably be made to Alexander McCall Smith as Miller has the same gentle style. A lovely story about a young girl who has moved back to Jamaica after the death of her mother. When her friends underwear is stolen they decide to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme but not everyone in town is so keen to have one. Funny, poignant and charming. Miller is a writer to keep an eye on. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
Shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize 2020. Longlisted for the 2020 Polari Prize. A Telegraph Book of the Year 2019. The highly anticipated new collection from Forward Prize-winner Kei Miller explores his strangest landscape yet - the placeless place. Here is a world in which it is both possible to hide and to heal, a landscape as much marked by magic as it is by murder.
It is 11 April 1982 and a smell is coming down John Golding Road right alongside the boy-child, something attached to him, like a spirit but not quite. Ma Taffy is growing worried. She knows that something is going to happen. Something terrible is going to pour out into the world. But if she can hold it off for just a little bit longer, she will. So she asks a question that surprises herself even as she asks it, 'Kaia, I ever tell you bout the flying preacherman?'
Kei Miller's work was acclaimed by the distinguished Jamaican writer Olive Senior as 'Some of the most exciting poetry I've read in years...An extraordinary new voice singing with clarity and grace'. A Light Song of Light sings in the rhythms of ritual and folktale, praise songs and anecdotes, blending lyricism with a cool wit, finding the languages in which poetry can sing in dark times. The book is in two parts: Day Time and Night Time, each exploring the inseparable elements that together make a whole. Behind the daylight world of community lies another, disordered, landscape: stories of ghosts and bandits, a darkness violent and seductive. At the heart of the collection is the Singerman, a member of Jamaica's road gangs in the 1930s, whose job was to sing while the rest of the gang broke stones. He is a presence both mundane and shamanic. Kei Miller's poems celebrate 'our incredible and abundant lives', facing the darkness and making from it a song of the light.
The six sequences of There Is an Anger that Moves travel from Jamaica to England and back. A mother's heart is broken; men fall in love secretly; people dance until they die. Religion haunts these disbelieving poems which move sometimes to the measure of a hymn, sometimes to the cadence of a Baptist sermon. Each swells with its own conviction, even when that conviction is doubt. Miller makes us believe in the power of unexpected things: the colour orange, broken coffins, ice cream - and in the transforming power of poetry. From this book, Kei Miller emerges as one of the most compelling and subtle new voices from the Caribbean.
There is a greeting used in urban America, 'What's good?', which seems to go beyond a mere 'How are you?' or 'What's happening?' to demand an optimistic response. Perhaps, writes the young Jamaican poet Kei Miller in his introduction to New Caribbean Poetry , there is a need for optimism when speaking of poetry and of the Caribbean, two entities that are frequently sidelined in all kinds of ways. This remarkable new anthology seeks to rectify both these oversights by showcasing new and newly established Caribbean poets from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere. So, 'what's good' in Caribbean poetry today? Miller offers eight impressive answers: Christian Campbell, Loretta Collins, Delores Gauntlett, Shara McCallum, Marilene Phipps, Jennifer Rahim, Tanya Shirley and Ian Strachan. Moving beyond the legacies of Scott, Walcott, Goodison and Braithwaite, these writers are forging a new and multifarious 'identity' for Caribbean poetry. There is a freshness to their voices which is nonetheless firmly rooted in poetic craft.