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book cover of Fierce Departures

Fierce Departures

A collection of poems by

The selections in Fierce Departures, drawn from Dionne Brand's work between 1990 and 2006, delineate with searing eloquence how history marks and dislocates peoples of the African diaspora, how nations, concretely and conceptually, fail to create safe haven, and how human desire persists nevertheless. Through a widening canvas, Brand unfolds the (im)possibilities of belonging for those whom history has dispossessed. Yet she also shows how Canada and in particular Toronto, remade by those who alight on it, is a place of contingency. Known for her linguistic intensity and lyric brilliance, Brand consoles through the beauty of her work and disturbs with its uncompromising demand for ethical witness.

In her introduction, editor Leslie C. Sanders traces the evolution of Brand's poetic concerns and changing vision. In particular, she observes Brand's complex use of landscape and language to delineate the ethical and emotional issues around the desire for place. She argues that Brand reformulates Northrop Frye's question 'Where is here?,' disturbing and expanding the national imaginary.

As afterword, Brand has selected from her evocative collection of essays A Map to the Door of No Return, the section 'Ruttier for the Marooned in the Diaspora.' Read as an ars poetica, the passage summons the presences of those whose lives are circumscribed by the same histories the poet narrates as her own.


Used availability for Dionne Brand's Fierce Departures

Paperback Editions

February 2009 : Canada Paperback

Title: Fierce Departures: The Poetry of Dionne Brand
Author(s): Dionne Brand
ISBN: 1-55458-038-2 / 978-1-55458-038-5 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA