PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This interview is taken from PN Review 177, Volume 34 Number 1, September - October 2007.

Lorna Goodison in Conversation Vicki Bertram

This conversation was recorded at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, in July 2006, to mark the publication of Lorna Goodison 's new collection,
Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), with grateful thanks to The Wordsworth Trust.

VICKI BERTRAM: The title poem in your new collection paints a vivid picture of vibrant, cultured Kingston in the early nineteenth century. It strikes a different note to the poems about New World history in your earlier work. Cassamere is a giant of a man, a ski lful fireworks impresario, liquor-blender, confectioner, dancer. The ladies al love him, he's rich enough to buy his freedom. His stature, and the elegance of the world he moves in - they're very different from many depictions of Africans under slavery.

LORNA GOODISON: Yes. That's what I intended. I came across this account from a man named W.H. Hinson in the Institute in Jamaica. It was a narrative taken down by a Jamaican historian called W. Adolphe Roberts, about how as a young boy Hinson met this man Cassamere in a village named Goldengrove in Jamaica and was so taken by the excellence of his work that he followed him to Kingston as an apprentice. After reading this account I began to think about the power of beauty and the ability to do something really well - mastery of something - and how that can prevail even in the worst circumstances. I thought too how ability ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image