ZOM-FAM

By (author): Kama La Mackerel

In their debut poetry collection, Kama La Mackerel mythologizes a queer/trans narrative of and for their home island, Mauritius. Composed of expansive lyric poems, ZOM-FAM (meaning “man-woman” or “transgender” in Mauritian Kreol) is a voyage into the coming of age of a gender-creative child growing up in the 80s and 90s on the plantation island, as they seek vocabularies for loving and honouring their queer/trans self amidst the legacy of colonial silences. Multiply voiced and imbued with complex storytelling, ZOM-FAM showcases a fluid narrative that summons ancestral voices, femme tongues, broken colonial languages, and a tender queer subjectivity, all of which grapple with the legacy of plantation servitude.

Emerging from a creative process in spoken word and live performance, these poems transform the page into a stage where the queer femme body is written and mapped onto the colonial space of the home/island. Interwoven with Kreol, ZOM-FAM showcases a unique lyrical sensibility, a musicality influenced by the both unforgiving and soothing rhythms of the ocean, where the poet enunciates the complexity of their displaced Indo-African roots, “the lineage of silence / that we weave in-between our intimacies.”

AUTHOR

Kama La Mackerel

Kama La Mackerel is an educator, visual artist, performer, writer and translator who works between and across English, French and Mauritian Kreol. They are the author of the award-winning poetry collection ZOM-FAM (Metonymy Press) and have translated works by Canadian writers Vivek Shraya and Kai Cheng Thom. They have lectured, performed and exhibited their work internationally. Find them on social media @kamalamackerel


Reviews

“It is refreshing and nourishing to read that zom-fam have historically been acknowledged in Mauritian culture… The book recounts difficult experiences and feelings, yet the writing persists and uplifts, ending with a strong note of acceptance and celebration.” – Quebec Writers’ Federation Concordia University First Book Prize Jury

[ is] a work of art, it’s experimental, it’s daring. And it’s also [La Mackerel’s] memoir, rooted in the performance of authenticity and the authenticity of the performance. – saahil mehta, Brown Girl Magazine

This poetry collection tells a new story of Mauritius’s history, one that includes and celebrates the queer and trans stories that helped shape the island’s history. – from CBC Books “The best Canadian poetry of 2020”

As the first poetry collection by a self-identifying queer/trans Mauritian artist, ZOM-FAM is a milestone in Mauritian literature. Titled “Man-Woman” in Kama La Mackerel’s native creole, the poetry collection explores what it means to craft life and love in the slippery spaces between diasporic, linguistic, and gender identities. – World Literature Today


Awards

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Excerpts & Samples ×

In their debut poetry collection, Kama La Mackerel mythologizes a queer/trans narrative of and for their home island, Mauritius. Composed of expansive lyric poems, ZOM-FAM (meaning “man-woman” or “transgender” in Mauritian Kreol) is a voyage into the coming of age of a gender-creative child growing up in the 80s and 90s on the plantation island, as they seek vocabularies for loving and honouring their queer/trans self amidst the legacy of colonial silences. Multiply voiced and imbued with complex storytelling, ZOM-FAM showcases a fluid narrative that summons ancestral voices, femme tongues, broken colonial languages, and a tender queer subjectivity, all of which grapple with the legacy of plantation servitude.

Emerging from a creative process in spoken word and live performance, these poems transform the page into a stage where the queer femme body is written and mapped onto the colonial space of the home/island. Interwoven with Kreol, ZOM-FAM showcases a unique lyrical sensibility, a musicality influenced by the both unforgiving and soothing rhythms of the ocean, where the poet enunciates the complexity of their displaced Indo-African roots, “the lineage of silence / that we weave in-between our intimacies.”

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

120 Pages
8in * 6in * 1in
1lb

Published:

September 10, 2020

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Metonymy Press

ISBN:

9781999058845

Book Subjects:

POETRY / LGBTQ+

Language:

eng

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