Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jnr. is a Ghanaian born artist and writer who is now based in Montreal. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. This is his debut pamphlet. Joyzine readers may know him as the musician Kae Sun.
His little collection of mainly short verse poetry and free verse is entitled Flood Season and calls on his life experience for inspiration. The reader will find plenty of examples of poetic exploration and clever wordplay.
As you would expect from a musician there is a true lyricism to be found in Kwaku’s words. I know many readers dismiss poetry as it is not seen as having a cool vibe or is burdened with the “intellectual” tag. I would suggest reading the words out loud to feel their true power and meaning. Let the words wash over you and sink in as we do when you listen to music. Poetry doesn’t always hit you with its full potential and power on the first attempt.
I have read this volume through on 3 occasions now and the short poem “In A Seaward Trance” is one of my favourites. It explores the writer’s first visit to the sea, his relationship with his mother and the recurring theme of leaving in a few short lines. It was one that spoke to me and brought back a sweet memory from long ago.
Give Flood Season a try and I’m sure you will find something that will delight or even give new clarity of thought. At the very least it’s a collection to enjoy.
Flood Season is out now, published by Flipped Eye Publishing – order here
Find out more about Kwaku’s music (as Kae Sun) on his official website
Review by Carolyn Batcheler