Shivanee Ramlochan - Everyone Knows I Am A Haunting
In Shivanee Ramlochan’s first collection of poems, Trinidad and Caribbean poetry finds an exciting new voice, one that displays a sharp intelligence, and iconoclastic spirit and fertility of imagination.
Ramlochan’s poems take the reader through a series of imaginative narratives that are at once emotionally familiar and compelling, even as the characters evoked and the happenings they describe are heavily symbolic. Her poems reference the language and structural patterns of the genres of fantasy or speculative fiction, though with her own distinctive features, including the presence of such folkloric Trinidadian figures as the Duenne, those wandering lost spirits whose feet point backwards.
In these poems, a woman is invariably the protagonist and Ramlochan is eloquent in her exploration of the ways in which gender has to be negotiated. They constantly challenge the stereotypes of the female. The female force that Ramlochan explores in her poems is creative and destructive, vulnerable and untameable. In poem after poem, the female assumes the elemental roles of both saviour and devil.