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Bohemian SouthCreating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk$
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Shawn Chandler Bingham and Lindsey A. Freeman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631677

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631677.001.0001

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Countercultural Structures of Contemporary Global South Poetry

Countercultural Structures of Contemporary Global South Poetry

(p.89) Countercultural Structures of Contemporary Global South Poetry
Bohemian South

Daniel Cross Turner

University of North Carolina Press

This essay heeds the fractal reckonings of countermemory—disparate strains of collective memory that resist totalizing models of official historiography—in an array of contemporary poets of the hemispheric South, who are highly attuned to the southern bohemian ethos: Yusef Komunyakaa, Derek Walcott, Brenda Marie Osbey, Kwame Dawes, as well as reggae icon Bob Marley. These poets share a sense of the Gulf and Atlantic cultures as open to transnational, cross-ethnic flows through black diasporic histories streamed along permeable coastlines. The analysis points up the progressive creativity fostered by a hippikat (Wolof “open-eyed”) poetics, one that resets our connection to place from an ecological vantage even as it expands preexisting academic accounts of the field. Drawing from Ras Michael Brown’s recent history of the African Atlantic, the essay shows how contemporary southern poetry shifts us past previous conceptions of “southernness” and into the explicitly transregional, transcultural ethos of current global southern studies.

Keywords:   African Atlantic, African diaspora, countermemory, global South, hippikat, poetry

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