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Martin Carter (Martin Wylde Carter) Biography

(1927–1997), (Martin Wylde Carter), To a Dead Slave, The Kind Eagle, Poems of Resistance

poems political guyana poet

Guyanese poet and politician, born in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana), educated at Queen's College in Georgetown. He wrote and published poems privately in the 1950s, including To a Dead Slave (1951) and The Kind Eagle (1952), but it was a spell of three months in detention for his anti-colonial political activities which led to Poems of Resistance (1954), the collection which established his reputation as a major political poet. After independence, Carter became Minister of Public Information and Broadcasting, and represented Guyana at the United Nations. Stark, militant rhetoric dominates many of his poems, but others are characterized by compassion, and startling imagery. Many of his best, such as ‘I Come from the Nigger Yard’, fuse the political and the confessional. In ‘For Milton Williams’, a poem in Poems of Succession (1977), which also contains work from earlier collections, Carter, however, rejects any cosy nostalgia about his youthful political activism. His other volumes include Poems of Shape and Motion (1955), Conversations (1955), Jail Me Quickly (1963), and Poems of Affinity: 1978–80 (1980).

[back] Angela Carter Biography - (1940–92), Shadow Dance, The Magic Toyshop, Love, conte cruel, Fireworks, The Bloody Chamber

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