sx salon 42

February 2023

Remembering Cliff Lashley

This issue’s special discussion section on Jamaican literary scholar Cliff Lashley (1935–1993) appears in time, as section editor Ronald Cummings notes, to mark the thirty-year anniversary of Lashley’s death. Cummings’s moving and astute introduction surveys the terrain of who Lashley was and how he has thus far been remembered, calling for us to set aside the famously horrific details of how Lashley died and refocus our attention on the life he lived, the people he influenced, and the work he shared. The collection of voices and perspectives Cummings has assembled here does an admirable job of forwarding that necessary endeavor.

A notable feature of the section is the balance of single-author essays along with interviews and dialogues; the collection as a whole suggests the occasion of a wake, where many voices gather to remember and salute the one who has passed. This on its own would be a rich gift, but the section closes with another invaluable offering: a bibliography of and on Lashley’s work, assembled by Cummings and Linzey Corridon. The bibliography is introduced and reproduced here, but the piece also links to a version of the bibliography on Zotero: a work in progress for which readers are invited to propose additions. I thank Cummings and all the contributors for sharing their thoughts, their memories, and their work with us, and for allowing sx salon to host this tribute to Cliff Lashley and celebration of his place in Caribbean letters.

The issue continues with a bountiful reviews section: creative work by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Shani Mootoo is reviewed by Ada M. Patterson and Courtenay Chan, respectively. Nonfiction and academic work features as well: Sandra Ruiz reviewed by Angela H. Brown; Yarimar Bonilla and Marisol LeBrón reviewed by Alejandro Escalante; Lawrence Lafountain-Stokes reviewed by Joseph Shaikewitz; and Alison Donnell reviewed by Bastien Bomans. We close, as usual, with new Caribbean creative writing: poems by Amílcar Peter Sanatan and short fiction by Margarita Lila Rosa and by Shastri Sookdeo.

Finally, a note in memoriam: While this issue was in preparation, we received word of the passing of distinguished Guyanese critic Gordon Rohlehr (1942–2023), Professor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies and author of such influential books as Calypso and Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad (1990) and My Strangled City and Other Essays (1992). We extend our condolences to his family and community, and we thank him for his myriad contributions to the Caribbean and its cultures.

Enjoy, be well, and let us know what you think:

Rachel L. Mordecai


Table of Contents



A Love that Knows No Drowning (for Alexis)”—Ada M. Patterson
Review of Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (Chico: AK Press, 2020)

Hold Your BreathAngela H. Brown
Review of Sandra Ruiz, Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance (New York: New York University Press, 2019)

Disaster Capitalism in Post-María Puerto Rico Alejandro Escalante
Review of Yarimar Bonilla and Marisol LeBrón, eds., Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm (Chicago: Haymarket, 2019)

On Puerto Rican Performance’s Queer Femme Horizons Joseph Shaikewitz
Review of Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2021)

Sounding Caribbean Literary Queerness Bastien Bomans
Review of Alison Donnell, Creolized Sexualities: Undoing Heteronormativity in the Literary Imagination of the Anglo-Caribbean (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2021)

Topographies of Desire Courtenay Chan
Review of Shani Mootoo, Polar Vortex (New York: Akashic, 2020)



Toward a Native Humanism: Cliff Lashley and the Radical Practice of Memory”—Ronald Cummings

Cliff Lashley, My Friend”—Velma Pollard

Artifacts of a Friendship: Cliff Lashley and the Anthony MacFarlane Book Collection”— Anthony MacFarlane, with Ronald Cummings

Reflections on Cliff Lashley”—Vincent O. Cooper

A Conversation—On Cliff Lashley and His Legacy”—Anna Kasafi Perkins, with Sonia Mills and Patrick S. Dallas

When You Call Someone’s Name, They Are Still Present”—Isis Semaj-Hall

The Cliff Lashley Bibliography”—Ronald Cummings and Linzey Corridon


Poetry & Prose

Poems—Amílcar Peter Sanatan

Chicken and Roosterfiction by Margarita Lila Rosa

No One Plays Cards Anymorefiction by Shastri Sookdeo


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