Edward "Kamau" Brathwaite
Barbados
1930-
 
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Biography

Kamau Brathwaite  was born in the capital city of Barbados, Bridgetown on May 11, 1930.  Brathwaite stands as the most recognizable symbol of Barbados literature. Unlike many of his peers Brathwaite maintains strong ties with the community of the West Indies (especially in the realm of education). First as a student, he attended Harrison College (Barbados) before traveling to England to get an honors B.A. (1953) at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he also received a Diploma of Education in 1954.He later received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Sussex (1968), but not before leaving England for a time. During this time, he worked as an education officer in the government of Ghana, and began a career with the University of the West Indies (Jamaica campus) that would last for nearly thirty years. Currently he divides time between Barbados and New York city, where he is affiliated with New York University. Brathwaite gained fame primarily for his poetry, despite a wealth of nonfiction and critical publications. His poetry typically explores the root of the West Indian soul, tracing historical links and events that have contributed to the development of the black population in the Caribbean. In such poems as Rights of Passage, he takes his readers on a journey through time and space, recreating the settings and voices that Caribbean people (and other former Africans) experienced.


Works
(from "Literature of the Caribbean: Edward "Kamau" Brathwaite". See Links)

Poetry

from The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy, 1973: 

  •     Rights of Passage, 1967 
  •     Masks, 1968 
  •     Islands, 1969 
  •     Panda No. 349, 1967 
  •     Other Exiles, 1975 
  •     Days and Nights, 1975 
  •     Black and Blues, 1976 
  •     Mother Poem, 1977 
  •     Soweto, 1979 
  •     World Making Man: A Poem for Nicolas Guillen, 1979 
  •     Sun Poem, 1982 
  •     Third World Poems, 1983 
  •     X/self, 1987 
  •     The Zea Mexican Diary, 7 September 1926 - 7 September 1986, 1993 
  •     Trenchtown Rock, 1993 
  •     Roots, 1993 
Plays 
  •     Four Plays for Primary Schools, 1964 
  •     Odale's Choice, 1967 
Essays/Nonfiction/Lectures 
  •     The People Who Came, (textbooks), 1968-1972 
  •     The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770 - 1820, 1971 
  •     Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica, 1972 
  •     Caribbean Man in Space and Time, 1974 
  •     Contradictory Omens: Cultural Diversity and Integration in the Caribbean,  1974 
  •     Our Ancestral Heritage: A Bibliography of the English Speaking Caribbean designed to record and celebrate the several origins of our structural, material, and creative culture, and
  •     to indicate how this is being used by us to mek ah-we, 1976 
  •     Wars of Respect: Nanny, Sam Sharpe, and the Struggle for People's Liberation, 1977 
  •     Barbados Poetry ?1661-1979: a checklist: books, pamphlets, broadsheets, 1686-1978, 1979 
  •     Jamaica Poetry, a checklist: books, pamphlets, broadsheets 1686-1978, 1979 
  •     Afternoon of the Status Crow (lecture), 1980 
  •     Gods of the Middle Passage, 1982 
  •     National Language Poetry, 1982 
  •     Kumina, 1982 
  •     The Colonial Encounter: Language, 1984 
  •     History of the Voice: the Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry,
  •     1986 
  •     Roots: Essay, 1986 
  •     Jah Music, 1986 
  •     Visibility Trigger/ Le detonateur de visibilite 
  •     The Poet and His Place in Barbadian Culture(lecture), 1987 
  •     Sappho Sakyi's Meditations, 1989 
  •     Shar, 1990 
  •     Middle Passages, 1992 
  •     also served as editor of Iouanaloa: Recent Writing from St. Lucia, 1963; New Poets from
  •     Jamaica (anthology, 1979); Dream Rock (1987). 

Links

Literature of the Caribbean: Edward "Kamau" Brathwaite
http://landow.stg.brown.edu/post/caribbean/brathwaite/brathwaiteov.html 
 


Send questions or comments about the Web site to Dr. Seodial Deena
East Carolina University, Department of English, Multicultural Literature Program.