Wheel and Come Again

An Anthology of Reggae Poetry

"A spiralling freefall through the cross-faded currents of the Caribbean poetic impulse, from high-hat writers to the melting bottom of a one-drop groove." — Colin Channer


The beat and language of reggae arose from the Jamaican countryside and the sidewalks of Kingston, but they’re basic for the poets represented in Wheel and Come Again. This remains true even though the poets’ personal worlds range from the street to the university and from the tropics to Toronto, New York, and London. Wheel and Come Again features works by 28 poets of Caribbean origin; some remain in the islands, and others have migrated to North America and Britain. The book includes works by Canadian poets such as Rachel Manley, Afua Cooper, Lillian Allen, Olive Senior, and Clifton Joseph; UK poets including Linton Kwesi Johnson and Jean "Binta" Breeze; US writers Rohan B. Preston, Fred d’Aguiar, and others; and Island poets such as Anthony MacNeill and Lorna Goodison.


Wheel and Come Again is a dancehall session in poetry, taking readers into the heart of reggae, into the seduction of the drum and bass. The poems are not reggae songs without music, not dub poems intended for performance with a band, but poems mixing all the resources of language with the reggae mood, the reggae intelligence and the reggae aesthetic.

Featuring poems by almost 40 writers of Caribbean origin, Wheel and Come Again ignites poetic convention with the compelling spirit of reggae. Among the contributors are Canadian poets such as Rachel Manley, Afua Cooper, Lillian Allen, and Olive Senior; UK poets including John Agard, Jean Binta Breeze, and Linton Kwesi Johnson; US writers Opal Palmer Adisa, Fred d'Aguiar, and others; and Island poets such as Edward Baugh, Kamau Brathwaite, and Lorna Goodison.