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Zabat: Poetics of a Family Tree

Book relating to an individual, 1989
Published by: Urban Fox Press
Year published: 1989
ISBN: 1 872124 05 4

image of Zabat: Poetics of a Family Tree

Soft cover book/tissue paper jacket

Zabat - Poetics of a Family Tree, Poems 1986 - 1989Maud Sulter, Urban Fox Press, 1989.

Following As a Black Woman, published in 1985, this was Maud Sulter’s second volume of poetry.

From the back cover: “Zabat - Maud Sulter’s second cycle of poems paints in vivid shades an urban environment inhabited by childhood rememories and contemporary moments. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the poet grew up quickly in the 60’s, a decade of gender and racial revolutions. Here is one testimony, a testimony which burns with a fire akin to West African sunlight.”

The cover features a print of Maud Sulter’s Calliope, 1989, C-type print (in the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum),  from her series Zabat. This self-portrait of Sulter as Calliope was part of a series of studio portraits that showed Black women artists and writers as the nine muses of Greek mythology. The series featured sitters such as Lubaina Himid, Alice Walker, and Dorothea Smart.

The work animated issues of status, portraiture, history, and Black women’s creativity, challenging the ways in which Black women had been rendered, or indeed, rendered invisible, by predominantly white male image-makers and others, in history.

Related people

»  Maud Sulter

Born, 1960 in Glasgow, Scotland. Died, 2008

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Camerawork

London, United Kingdom

»  Rochdale Art Gallery

Rochdale, United Kingdom