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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how multi-ethnic poetries deploy a ‘minor cosmopolitan poetics’ to reimagine Britishness in the era of cultural globalization in the work of E. A. Markham, Lemn Sissay, Patience Agbabi, and Daljit Nagra. Their minor cosmopolitan poetics both marks the condition of racial exclusion due to the inheritance of colonialism and announces hybrid cultural identities that spiral out transnationally. What’s more, these poets represent the political and social contradictions of Britishness as inherent to the uneven tradition of English-language poetry itself. Far from a tradition apart, however, multi-ethnic British poetries mould and adapt the canon, infusing it with hybrid languages, hyphenated experiences, and multiple geographic attachments. Whether in print, on MP3, in performance, in museum installations, or on public transport and human skin, multi-ethnic poetries also contribute to the making and remaking of national identities suited for an increasingly diverse Britain.

Keywords: multi-ethnic, Britishness, cosmopolitanism, hybridity, canon-formation, E. A. Markham, Lemn Sissay, Patience Agbabi, Daljit Nagra

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