Zion Roses (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now....best to call before coming in to pick up.
In Zion Roses, her second collection, Monica Minott’s poems grasp the reader’s attention with a voice that is distinctively personal, both taut and musical—and tender and muscular when the occasion demands. Her language moves seamlessly and always appropriately between standard and Jamaican patwa, a reflection of a vision that encompasses a Black modernity still very much in touch with its aphoristic folk roots, where the ancestral meets Skype or a Jonkonnu band is stuck in a Kingston traffic jam. It is possible to see Minott’s poems as being in a constant dialogue between four quadrants of engagement: with history, with landscape, with personal and family experience, and with the worlds of literature, music, and art. Minott’s sense of history is deeply informed by a knowledge of the brutalities of commercial empire and of slavery and Black people’s struggles against injustice and for selfhood. There is scarcely a poem that does not have some precisely described sense of the materiality of its circumstance and the interactions between the physical world and human feelings. You sense that what sustains a certain bravery of self-exposure and of risk is a sense of belonging to family.
About the Author
Winsome Monica Minott was awarded first prize in the inaugural Small Axe poetry competition. Her poems have been published in The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe Caribbean Journal, Cultural Voice Magazine, SX Salon, Jubilation, Coming Up Hot, and The Squaw Valley Review, and more recently in BIM magazine. Some of her poems have been broadcast on Power 106 in Jamaica. Her debut collection, Kumina Queen, is also published by Peepal Tree Press.
'I see visions wider than all the nets cast" ends one of the poems. Winsome also hears said visions; so much cultural lustre and light is "languaged" here, a strong song that is mythic as it is rapturously melodic. The poems are no mere voiceovers but lyrics inflected with the sight of history. These poems crown us where we are, the ennobled and dignified living.' —Major Jackson