By Jeanne Marie Penvenne for the LASO (Lusophone Africa Studies Organization) Newsletter
Landeg White produced a strikingly diverse and impressive body of work over a lifetime that took him to Trinidad, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Britain, Goa and Portugal. His experiences in all these places cumulatively shaped his capacity to see, listen, understand and interpret. Where does one begin with this complex man and his diverse and impressive legacy? His personal site, opens with a sketch that captures him beautifully. Martin White, Landeg and Alice Costley White’s older son, built the site and maintains it to the present. It includes Landeg’s many books and essays, tributes to his passing, and news of recent and future book launches.
There you will find Hugh Macmillan’s insightful, scholarly reflection on Landeg and his life’s work first published in the Guardian. A greatly enhanced version, to be published in Social Dynamics, deftly captures autobiographical cameos, hidden in plain sight, throughout Landeg’s volumes of poetry. It ends with the closing lines of Landeg’s poem Self-Praises (for my African age-mates) from Living in the Delta: New and collected poems (Parthian, 2015). They should feature in every consideration of Landeg’s legacy:
As a scholar, I set the paradigm: as a poet I found my niche,
Let these praises float from my window, setting fires where