New Book: Lasana M. Sekou’s Nativity

Nativity/Nativité/Natividad (House of Nehesi Publishers, 2010) is a trilingual edition of Lasana M. Sekou’s poetry. Jamaican/Canadian historian, writer, and dub poet Afua Cooper describes the collection in her introduction to the volume:

“Lasana M. Sekou’s Nativity is a stunning, rich, complex, and multilayered narrative poem that is simultaneously dirge, rant, condemnation, protest, prophecy, love chant, and celebration. It is a call to arms in drumbeats, a synctactic revolution, and an assegai piercing the heart of the oppressor. Nativity narrates elements of the epic journey of African peoples and maps their odysseys around the world, particularly in the Caribbean and the Americas. The word nativity in its broadest sense means birth (of people), but throughout the poem, the word’s meaning varies: nature, native, nation. The entry point into the journey of these traveling Africans is culture, and through the birth of their migrations, Africans have produced created and reimagined culture wherever they went. Nativity, with an unaccustomed deft and defiance, navigates especially the act and aftermath of the transatlantic slave trade migration.” Cooper goes on to explore the multiple archetypes, references, and intersections found in what can be read as a poem or a rich array of poetic segments multiplied by three. Each section becomes a world to be explored separately—in English, French, and Spanish—and then together, bound by the common languages of the African diaspora.

Lasana M. Sekou (1959) was born in San Nicolas, Aruba, and raised in St. Martin. He is the author of many books of poetry, monologues, and short stories. His poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Anales del Caribe, The Massachusetts Review, De Gids, Revue Noire, Das Gedicht, Calabash, Prometeo, and Chicken Bones. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, French, German, and Chinese.  Some of his works are Nativity & Dramatic Monologues for Today (1988), Quimbé – The Poetics of Sound (1991), Brotherhood of the Spurs (1997), Big Up St. Martin – Essay & Poem (1999), The Salt Reaper: Poems from the Flats (2004, 2005), and 37 Poems (2005).

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