In Country of Warm Snow, the author seeks to represent the duality of a life lived in two places at once. It is the life of an immigrant who has been in this country for fifty-odd years, whose heart, when he’s in one place, yearns for the other. To combat the geographical dislocation, there arises the invention of an impossible land, a country of the imagination, a snow that is beautiful and warm.
“I don’t believe I’ll read any work this year with more memorable characters than those in Country of Warm Snow. The streets of Brooklyn, Flatbush, and environs, are alive with felt life, because Mervyn Taylor, from his Trinidadian origins, knows how to see and what to hear.You’ll meet the essential goodness of the émigrés on the streets; you’ll feel pain with its many versions—a bluesman might call “good men feeling bad.” This is poetry of the people, and this writer shows, when opportunity meets lifelong preparations, he can really tell stories. Taylor’s literary culture is basic and concrete, plain words from plain folks, restyled to poetry. There’s so much to love in this effortless writing: precision in every line, the poetic will of an authentic poet, and the moral authority found in craft without artificiality. Country of Warm Snow’s social issues rock with swag and style—tender and tough—creating a new mythology for America with stories in poetry’s best voice.” —Grace Cavalieri, Maryland Poet Laureate