"The Hanging of Angelique" has been nominated for the Governor General Award for Nonfiction
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What the Critics are Saying about Copper Woman What the critics have said about The Hanging of Angélique

What the Critics are Saying about Copper Woman

Incantatory, vivid, passionate, sensual, incendiary -- Afua Cooper's poetry delivers rich nourishment for the imagination. Copper Woman brings mythic, historical, and present-day voices and characters to provocative, multi-dimensional life, all the way from Africa to the Caribbean to Canada and beyond. Those of us who have been wowed by Cooper's live performances of her work will be equally taken with the ways the poems rise and breathe from the pages of this charged, bristling collection.
--Allan Briesmaster, poet, and author of Weighted Light and Unleaving

Poet Afua Cooper draws from her wide knowledge of history – personal and monumental – to evoke the ancestors, vistas of her childhood, memories of family and powerful passion in this new book of poetry, Copper Woman. The colour red appears in many forms – energy, passion, blood, violence, love, fire, lightning storm, rage and roses. Like the red-brown metal, copper, Cooper’s poetry is malleable in each stage of her journey manifested in the five sections of the book –Bird of Paradise, Copper Woman, Biography, Africa Wailin, and Black Madonna. The poems capture her thoughts on the divine feminine and her belief that sexuality can be intensely spiritual and therefore has healing potential.

Following in the footsteps of her earlier work, Memories Have Tongue (1992), Afua Cooper lights the wick of incendiary words that will engulf readers to read, ruminate and remember these poems. Here is a book of poetry that truly embodies the myriad work of one of Canada’s most prolific and versatile poets, Afua Cooper.
--Neil Armstrong, Literary Critic

Jamaica Kincaid writes, “My mother died at the moment I was born, and so…there was nothing standing between myself and eternity.” If place of origin sources story — and connection to origin has almost been destroyed — a writer has nothing standing between herself and eternity. It is from here that Afua Cooper calls forth remnants of story that still recognize their names: her family and ancestors in Jamaica; African, Greek, Voudou, Egyptian, and Indigenous Caribbean divinities; historical Black Canadian voices of Richard Pierpont and Marie Joseph Angelique; and “Africa wailin/as Toronto get hot/an Black people dance/communally.” Eloquent and visionary, Cooper’s poems are like the fruits and flowers her mother sells in the market: “she does not solicit customers/they come of their own volition.”
--Betsy Warland, poet, and author of Only this Blue and Bloodroot



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What the critics have said about The Hanging of Angélique

With her poet's sensibility, Afua Cooper describes the embattled life and trial of Marie-Joseph Angélique... Cooper connects Angélique's fate with the wide world of Atlantic, American, and Canadian slavery, and with the intimate world of the household where Angélique worked. An enthralling and important tale."
-- Natalie Zemon Davis. author of The Return of Martin Guerre and Slaves on Screen

" The most important piece of Canadian history written in decades, Afua Cooper’s The Hanging of Angélique shakes the earth beneath the Canadian nation story. Thorough, original, and masterful, this book is a stunning reclamation of one woman's life, but it is also a reclamation of Africans in early North American history. Trenchant and engagingly written, this book is brilliant."
-- Dionne Brand, Award-winning poet and novelist. Author of What We All Long For and A Map to the Door of No Return

Cooper is to be congratulated for long, careful and thoroughly engaged research and passionate, engaging writing.
--Michel Basilieres, Author of Black Bird



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