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Make the World New

The Poetry of Lillian Allen

By Lillian Allen
Edited by Ronald Cummings
Subjects Poetry, Social Science, Women’s Studies
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771124959, 78 pages, August 2021

Poetry that highlights the need for gendered, racial and political change as a process of social transformation


Lillian Allen is one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada. Her work has been foundational to the dub poetry movement, which swept across the Black diaspora in the 1980s, taking roots/routes in Kingston, Toronto, and London and offering exciting sounds of protest and a careful, detailed documenting of everyday life as political praxis.

Make the World New brings together some of the highlights of Lillian Allen's work in a single volume, the first book of her poems to be published in over twenty years. It revisits her well-known verse from the celebrated collections Rhythm an’ Hardtimes, Women Do This Everyday, and Psychic Unrest, while also assembling new and uncollected poems.

Allen's poetry is both political and creative in its attempts to make the world new and in its incisive narration of black life. Her work is intersectional in the most radical ways and highlights the need for gendered, racial, and political change as a process of social transformation. In the current historical movement for Black Lives, protests for racial justice and calls for institutional change, these poems echo with meaningful resonance while also reminding us of the long struggles for change. Allen's afterword includes the writer's reflections on her process and poetics and the social and cultural impact of the work.