Song of Thieves delves into issues of racial identity and politics, the immigrant experience, and the search for “home” and family histories. In this follow-up to her award-winning debut collection, The Water Between Us, Shara McCallum artfully draws from the language and imagery of her Caribbean background to play a haunting and soulful tune.
In these spare, sensuous, and lyrical poems, McCallum seeks to explore love and loss by navigating the bridge which joins the one to the other.
Opens a whole new world. . . . Reading this book is testament to the sustaining fire of poetry.
McCallum dances along the brink of experience with a taut and maturing lyricism that seizes the breath and lifts the word into flight. Writing of family and community in her native Jamaica, she gives the sense of the music of the place, a culture steeped in the singularity of a rich patois and spirituality, McCallum emerges with an evocation that is celebratory. . . . balances the hard sobriety of elegiac whisperings with the whimsy of myth and folk characters.
Rich with imagery, with longing, memory, and self-assertion.
From Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of five books of poetry, published in the US and UK, most recently Madwoman, winner of the 2018 OCM Bocas Poetry Prize for Caribbean Literature and the 2018 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize. Her work has been published in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe, has been translated into several languages, and has received such recognition as a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Formerly the Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry, McCallum is now a Liberal Arts Professor of English at Penn State University.