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This passionate and incisive book gathers together poems written by E.A. Markham under a range of pseudonyms and personae. Exploring perceptions of race and gender, community and identity, Markham steers us in to a world filled with peculiar menace, threats and resistance, all redeemed or repudiated by the force of language.
E.A. Markham has written many works. His poetry includes titles such as Cross-Fire (1972); Mad and Other Poems (1973); Lambchops in Disguise (1976); Love Poems (1978); Love, Politics, and Food (1982); Human Rites: Selected Poems 1970-82 (1984); Toward the End of a Century (1989); and Misapprehensions (1995).
‘In poetry as elsewhere, Archie Markham is tireless in his resistance to orthodoxy, whether artistic, cultural or political. He speaks as he finds, in multiple, unpredictable voices. His great imaginative wealth is a refusal ever to explain, still less to apologize for, his sidelong, audacious explorations of how people actually think and feel. Markham is an original.’ —Sean O’Brien
‘Archie Markham’s ventriloquy matches his migratory spirit. Each of his personas appears to dodge the idea of the writer as a purveyor of a single voice or identity for the calysonian’s and trickster spider’s alternative of a chorus of voices. He keeps his readers guessing and engaged and coincidentally charts the last 35 years of British poetry from a triple perspective: firstly, the colonised subject on a quest for a decolonised space; secondly, the roving artist who insists on a satirist outlook as a prerequisite for creativity; and thirdly, the gendered body delimited by the poetic imagination. All this adds up to laugh-out-loud reading fun and has the cumulative effect of a chronicler's wisdom for the age.’ —Fred D’Aguiar
‘From behind his disarmingly anti-heroic masks, Markham scores oblique but telling hits on a variety of targets, among them cultural smugness, racial and social prejudice, political correctness, and a too easy assumption of historically given roles, whether of victor or victim. He is master of a tart, intellectually tough, low-key zaniness, and turns a refreshingly wry scrutiny on the immigrant experience.’ —Edward Baugh