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A. J. Seymour (Arthur James Seymour) Biography

(1914–90), (Arthur James Seymour), Kyk-over-al, The Guiana Book, Water and Blood, Monologue

Guyanese poet and civil servant, born in British Guiana (now Guyana), educated at Queen's College. He was deputy chairman of the Department of Culture, editor of the influential literary journal Kyk-over-al from 1945 to 1961, among other posts, and launched the pamphlet series of ‘Miniature Poets’ (19513), two of whose prominent authors were Wilson Harris and Martin Carter. Seymour was a prolific poet, but only with his seventh collection, The Guiana Book (1948), did he begin to have a distinctive voice of his own. His later poetry meditates on the blood-drenched history of the Caribbean and the crucible of forces, particularly the effects of the slave trade, which have moulded the present Guyanese identity. Water and Blood (1952), Monologue (1968), Patterns (1970), Italic (1974), Mirror (1975), Images of Majority (1978), and Selected Poems (1983) are only a few of his many other subsequent collections. Autobiographical volumes include Growing Up in Guyana (1976), Pilgrim Memories (1978), and Thirty Years a Civil Servant (1982). See Ian McDonald (ed.), AJS at 70 (1984).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland