A multivoiced saga of devastation and rebirth in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast. Conceived in the years before Hurricane Katrina and deeply influenced by its aftermath, Saltwater Empire is a brilliant assemblage of geographical metaphor expressed in original lyrics, text from The Tempest, and the voices of ravaged New Orleans residents. As McDaniel’s poems enter the ecological, political, and religious miasma of the Gulf Coast, they offer an uncommonly perceptive look at cataclysmic disaster, human cruelty, and cultural resilience.
“[McDaniel] has made not rhetoric, but stunning, eloquent and shining intercession on behalf of all occupants of the ‘Convention Centers of the New World.’ This is the testimony of a poet, the poet as psalmist and repairer-of-the-breach.” —Lorna Goodison
April 2008 | 130 pages