Dorothea Smartt is a stunning performance artist and poet. She has taught in the United Kingdom, and Bahrain, South Africa, Barbados and the U.S, after beginning her writing life in the Black/feminist co-operatives of the Eighties, and publishing her first work in anthologies. She plunges into a complex and diverse world which embraces Banjul, Barbados and her London base, Brixton. Little wonder, then, that she has been dubbed the “Brit born Bajan International” by her iconic mentor, Kamau Braithwaite, who clearly recognised her strong inner voice, so evident to listener and reader, and validated her blossoming poetic identity. Smartt turns out to be both the site-specific child of her South London upbringing, and a chorus member of the vocal Caribbean Diaspora, laying claim to more distant, shared identities, which speak in different voices and draw on historic memory and myth. The unique characteristics of these voices are wrought out of archaeological evidence, the private language of family and a vivid imagination. Smartt’s unifying gift is her unfailing musical ear, which ensures strong thematic material is expressed in an appropriate tone and key, with powerful rhythmic effects, well judged climaxes and dying or open-ended cadences. She is as meticulous in framing resilient snapshots of her bullied Battersea childhood, as she is in recreating the blighted life of a young enslaved African boy, imagining both his anguish and loneliness before an untimely death and desolate coastal burial.