This Strange Land
Format: Trade Paper and CD · 80 Pages
$19.95 U.S. · $23.95 CAN
Alice James Books
Recommended for These Courses
These poems probe the definition of Motherland. Shara McCallum homogenizes childhood memories of her native Jamaica with a revised understanding of danger and corruption, teasing out notions of history, language, motherhood, rupture, memory, and identity. She weaves new cloth of oral tradition, struggling to arrange a comfort zone within the foreign manufactures of suburbia. Hers is the skilled music of a master.
About the Author
Shara McCallum is the author of Song of Thieves (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003) and The Water Between Us (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999). Originally from Jamaica, she lives with her family in central Pennsylvania, where she directs the Stadler Center for Poetry and teaches creative writing and literature at Bucknell University.
"This Strange Land is a remarkably accomplished book, ranging from childhood to parenthood, Jamaica to America, in a way that feels integrated and organic. With mature hindsight, Shara McCallum revisits early experience with a piercing clarity (even in dialect, as in the wonderful "Miss Sally" poems), exposing its undercurrents in the present. Intimate, serious, and beautifully crafted, these poems scrutinize the griefs and beauties of familial life and memorialize them with meticulous care."—Chase Twichell
“This Strange Land poignantly and appropriately begins with ‘Psalm for Kingston,’ a poem that calls out to a violent city and its resilient inhabitants. The voices of Kingston…are brought up and left to fade into the fabric of the verse… It is a fitting way to introduce a book that is in search of what feels almost lost and yet ever-present.”—Thom Dawkins, Weave Magazine
"These are poems of ruin and rebirth, of the joys and damage a mother knows…This is a marvelous collection filled with a lovely and evocative music. Highly recommended."—Library Journal, starred review
“Jean Rhys could be the presiding spirit of this moving collection, which mines deep veins of loss and displacement. The personal and the political converge in new ways in these finely crafted poems, and readers should be prepared for unexpected turns and genuine surprises.”—Lorna Goodison
What is separation's geography?
The mother's body is the country
of our earliest memory, the soil
from which we are formed.
Our lives are an arc of flight:
away, toward, away.
Order from an online bookseller
- Barnes and Noble
Find a local bookseller
- Barnes and Noble (Store Locator)
- Books-A-Million (Store Finder)
- Borders (Store Locator)
- Chapters/Coles/Indigo (Canadian Store Locator)
- Hastings (Store Locator)
- IndieBound (Independent Booksellers National Directory)
- WalMart (Store Finder)
(Check your local Yellow Pages for a bookstore near you.)
International online orders
- Amazon.ca (Canada)
- Amazon.fr (France)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japan)
- Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)
- Chapters.Indigo.ca (Canada)
Domestic and International offline orders
The Perseus Books Group
Customer Service Department
1094 Flex Drive
Jackson, TN 38301