The Bequia Poems principally documents the experience of a contemporary American writer and sailor in the West Indies. In a tradition that began with the American poet Philip Freneau in 1775, Dey writes as an expatriate. The focus of the poems is Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), a distinct island in the Windward Islands and dependency of St. Vincent of the Grenadines. Some of these poems document the ethnography of this island, yet many are deeply personal and speak beyond a single island's domain.
The first poems were written while Dey, having worked on a yacht in the Caribbean in the summer of 1971, was a student at Harvard and published in The Harvard Advocate. Several of the other poems have been published in magazines, among them Poetry and Sail. Poems about Bequia have become an ongoing work, and three subsequent collections have been published with small presses. Dey studied writing poetry under James Dickey, Robert Fitzgerald, and Elizabeth Bishop.
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