All the Names Given

Tin House. Nov. 2021. 96p. ISBN 9781951142926. pap. $16.95. POETRY
Following up his Ted Hughes Award–winning debut, The Perseverance (published in the United States just this year), British Jamaican poet Antrobus deepens his exploration of identity by plumbing family stories that say something larger. From his parents’ meeting to a final good-bye to his dead father (“I met your brothers./ Losing you made me need them”), these stories open to the ancestral “Sir Edmund Antrobus (3rd baronet)/ slaver” and the ongoing weight of colonialism (“The barman’s eyes in The Antrobus Arms/ become sharp gates when I claim to be English”). Traveling from England to the Caribbean to the United States, the poet unfurls many small, aching moments and explores his Deafness.

VERDICT A fluidly written understanding of self, history, and oppression from a fast-rising poet.
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