Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Rotten English


As I was browsing the latest issue of Poets & Writers, I stumbled upon an ad for a new anthology entitled, "Rotten English" edited by Dohra Ahmad. According to the website, "it celebrates vernacular literature from around the English-speaking world, from Robert Burns, Mark Twain, and Zora Neale Hurston to Papua New Guinea's John Kasaipwalova and Tobago's Marlene Nourbese Philip."

Rotten English is a global collection of poetry and fiction in vernacular English. What does this actually mean? I have always enjoyed literature that employed the vernacular of the present. I guess I feel that I could related more and as a poet, I enjoy seeing how others use language in different and exciting ways. There are new words being invented everyday e.g. "whips" in hip-hop refers to cars, "mops" refers to a girl's ass, etc. These new possibilities of language can lead to original imagery and sounds. I think this will be a great anthology to read and it is definitely long overdo.

Here is the link to the Reading Group Guide.

1 comment:

Kabuki said...

Sounds like quite an interesting read. I'm always one for inventive words, though I admit I still am not used to "whips" as cars.

Mostly because the first time I saw the show "Awesome Whips" on the TV listings, I thought it was all about bondage. Suffice to say I was a little disappointed.