New Issue—Sargasso: Moving Forward with Mervyn Alleyne

The editors of Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture are happy to announce the publication of the journal’s most recent issue, Moving Forward with Mervyn Alleyne. Edited by Don E. Walicek and published by the Department of English at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras Campus, this issue of Sargasso commemorates the late scholar Mervyn Alleyne’s life and his many contributions to knowledge about Caribbean language, social history, and culture.  

The poets featured in this multilingual volume are Nancy Anne Miller of Bermuda, Sharif El Gammal-Ortiz of Puerto Rico, Amílcar Peter Sanatan of Trinidad and Tobago, and Elvin Ramos of Puerto Rico. The volume also includes two intriguing works of short fiction:  S.D. Brown’s “A Crack in the Well” and José E. Cruz’s “La última palabra.”

The volume includes three essays on language that pay tribute to Alleyne’s academic legacy as a linguist:  “Innovations in the Phonology of Haitian Creole and St. Lucian Creole: A Pilot Study” by Yolanda Rivera and Clifton Armstrong, “Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution in Code-Switched Discourse” by Cristina Maymí González, and “Extending the Idea of Inventiveness Within a Tradition to Study Phrasal verb Constructions and Potentialities of Meaning”  by Micah Corum, Rachel La Russo, and Daniel Shanklin. 

Special tributes to Alleyne are also included. Among these are the dirge “Subahana (Woe) for Late Uncle Mervyn Alleyne” by Dannabang Kuwabong, the essay “Continuities in the Work of Mervyn Alleyne” by Lowell Fiet,” and short pieces recalling memories of Alleyne by the scholars Petra E. Avillán León, Ian Bethell-Bennett, Jo-Anne S. Ferreira, Velma Pollard, and Maritza Stanchich. In addition, Patrick-André Mather makes Alleyne’s ideas accessible to a wider audience with his “La linguistique dans la Caraïbe: entretien avec Mervyn C. Alleyne,” which is a French-language translation of one of Alleyne’s last interviews.

Other memories of Alleyne and additional context form part of the introduction, which is written by Don E. Walicek and S.D. Campos. The Puerto Rican artist Camilo Carrión created the attractive cover images and other original art featured in the volume. Readers who are interested in keeping abreast of recent publications about the Caribbean will be delighted to know that the volume includes ten book reviews.

Alleyne, author of a long and fascinating list of publications that includes Comparative Afro-American (1980), Roots of Jamaican Culture (1988), and The Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and the World (2002), was an important scholar of who held appointments at both the University of the West Indies at Mona and the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. He helped to shape Caribbean studies, contributing to foundational knowledge about the region as well as to debates about issues of language, West African heritage, and much more.  This volume is likely to be appreciated by his former colleagues and others who are familiar with his work, as well as by readers who are learning about it for the first time.

For information about purchasing a copy of the volume, email the editors at, check out its website, or visit “Sargasso magazine” on Facebook.

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