2Leaf Press, Oct. 2013 | $16.99 | ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-01-8 | LCCN: 2013953968
PROVIDENCIA is Sean Frederick Forbes’s debut poetry collection. In this volume, Sean offers deeply personal poetry that digs beneath the surface of family history and myth. This coming of age narrative traces the experience of a gay, mixed-race narrator who confronts the traditions of his parents’ and grandparents’ birthplace: the seemingly idyllic island of Providencia, Colombia against the backdrop of his rough and lonely life in Southside Jamaica, Queens.
These lyric poems open doors onto a third space for the speaker, one that does not isolate or hinder his sexual, racial, and artistic identities. Written in both free verse and traditional poetic forms, PROVIDENCIA conjures numerous voices, images, and characters to explore the struggles of self-discovery. Cover Art by Holly Turner. With an introduction by V. Penelope Pelizzon.
In PROVIDENCIA, Sean Forbes presents poetry that is rich in a kind of spare aesthetics.Spare, as in clear, as in extra and its opposite, sparingly, as in leave uninjured, as in can-you-spare-a-dime—yes, especially that sense of provide.
— Kimiko Hahn, author of Toxic Flora
There is a lot to admire in this debut, including the wide formal range, ambitious scope, mythic power, and fascinating narrative. . . . In Forbes’s quest, you will find personal poems that strike with resounding social significance, as well as poems that survey a sometimes gentle and sometimes violent historical landscape with visceral intimacy.
— Jonathan Andersen, author of Stomp and Sing
In the vein of Jamaica Kincaid, PROVIDENCIA is a kaleidoscopic journey home to a very small place, an island that may appear tiny on a map but contains a whole world of feelings unto itself. . . With a yearning untainted by sentimentality, Forbes gracefully scribes his/our Caribbean diasporic family history in his debut book.
— Lisa Sánchez González, author of
The Stories I Read to the Children, The Life and Writing of Pure Belpré
Sean Frederick Forbes’ poems are a luxurious blending of the exotic with the mundane, creating a world that is simultaneously familiar but tinged with a mild surrealism, a world just out of reach, but in clear focus . . . The absolute beauty of these poems is the self-confronting journey of a man who seeks to discover where he came from, to unravel who he is.
— Bruce Cohen, author of Placebo Junkies Conspiring with the Half-Asleep