The Trembling Tiber: A black poet's musings on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
The Trembling Tiber (English Edition),
A black poet’s musings on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
by Neal Hall M.D.
When a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, Neal Hall was stopped at gunpoint by a member of the Italian special forces. His offense: being black while walking about in an affluent white district. The soldier profiled him as an illegal African alien. By chance, the colorcoded indignity fell on the Ides of March, the day Caesar was assassinated. This coincidence inspired Hall to take a deep dive into Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Thought the first of its kind, the hybrid poetic narratives emerging from this exploration interweave Shakespearean tools with those of Hall’s own craft and speak in direct, powerful new ways to universal contemporary issues of freedom and equality. The poems, by providing new prisms through which to view today’s power constructs, challenge the reader to recognize the coded and decoded socio-political-economic struggles of marginalized people today and to question for whom liberty’s bell truly tolls.
“If Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was a tightrope one could stretch between the idiosyncratically abysmal and the collectively political, then Neal Hall’s The Trembling Tiber is an elegant walk on this fragile tightrope. The poet’s voice is guttural yet soothing, lulling the reader into a timeless world of injustice, conflict and rage but also of hope, courage and inner freedom. Neal Hall’s poetry is a torrent of vibrating words engulfing the reader in their powerful rhythm and heartfelt truth.”—Andriana Minou, Judge, Greece’s Eyelands International Poetry Book Award.
pages 146, B&W 5,5 x 8,5 in Hardcover wih Jacket on Creme