Shortlisted for the QWF A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry
An original, inventive--and visually stunning--exploration of place, identity, language, and experience from the acclaimed poet, novelist, and sound performer.
The poems in Kaie Kellough's third collection drift between South and North America. They seek their ancestry in Georgetown, Guyana, in the Amazon Rainforest, and in the Atlantic Ocean. They haunt the Canadian Prairie. They recall the 1980s in the suburbs of Calgary, and they reflect on the snowed-in, bricked-in boroughs of post-referendum Montréal. They puzzle their language together from the natural world and from the works of Caribbean and Canadian writers. They reassemble passages about seed catalogues, about origins, about finding a way in the world, about black ships sailing across to land. They struggle to explain a state of being hemisphered, of being present here while carrying a heartbeat from elsewhere, and they map the distances travelled.
KAIE KELLOUGH is a novelist, poet, and sound performer. He is the author of the novel Accordéon, which was a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, two books of poetry, Lettricity and Maple Leaf Rag, and two albums, Vox:Versus and Creole Continuum. He has performed and published internationally. He lives in Montréal, Quebec.
“Magnetic Equator joins the tidalectics tradition of Brathwaite. This is a poetry of place, albeit a fluid place of in-betweenity, of migration and hybridity, ethnic, geographic, historical, temporal, and chronological. This is essential work doing the necessary heavy-lifting that poetry is intended to do.” –M. NourbeSe Philip
"A masterpiece. Deep isolation envelops these pieces in their tireless travels from the rainforests of Guyana to the prairies of Western Canada, the beaches of Vancouver to the snowy streets of Montreal. Kellough’s search is a river that carries us from place to place with a current of self-assurance, and in his deconstructions of language, history, and identity, he creates a sweeping epic in Magnetic Equator that is stunning in its scope." --Montreal Review of Books
“Magnetic Equator brims with influence and relation, sparking dialogue with books such as Omeros by Derek Walcott and A Map to the Door of No Return by Dionne Brand, both acknowledged influences. Ultimately, Kellough engages with the larger historical experience of diaspora writers and exiles, among whom identity’s hyphen is a 'divining rod'. Magnetic Equator informs as it enchants with its rare combination of documentary poetics and confessional voice.” --Quill & Quire