Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom

2305 Words Oct 16th, 2012 10 Pages
Marcia Douglas
Electricity Comes To Cocoa Bottom Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom takes the reader on a journey of light, from the flicker of the firefly in rural Jamaica, through the half-moonlight of the limbo of exile in the USA to the point of arrival and reconnection imaged by the eight-pointed star.

It is also a journey of the voice, traversing back and forth across the Atlantic and across continents, pushing its way through word censors and voice mufflers and ending in tongues of fire.

In making this book a Poetry Book Society recommendation, its selector commented: 'Marcia Douglas has the kind of intent but relaxed concentration which ushers the reader into the life of a poem and makes the event - a wedding, a hot afternoon,
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This is a rich and very welcome book.'June Owens writes in The Caribbean Writer: 'Some writers leave their creative handprints in dark caves where only later happenstance may, perhaps, discover them. Some writers stamp their entire selves upon the language, upon a culture, upon literature and upon our consciousness in so intimate, singular, well-illumined and indelible a manner that there can be no mistaking their poems and prose for those of another. Such a writer is Marcia Douglas.'
Her first publications appeared in Sister of Caliban: A Multilingual Anthology of Contemporary Caribbean Women Poets (1996) and in Callaloo, Sun Dog: Southeast Review, Phoebe and APTE.Her first collection of poems, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom (Peepal Tree, 1999) won a Poetry Book Society recommendation. It explores the recuperation of Jamaican place and voice from the perspective of a young woman in urban America in resistance to culturally annihilating forces in that society. She writes of the memories which went into these poems: ‘To write these poems was to traverse my navel string back to my Jamaican grandmother who I remember working at a foot-pedalled sewing machine by the light of a kerosene lamp, the words Home Sweet Home on the glass shade; it was to return to the

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