New Day Jazz
Many of the poems in Errançities had their origins in my visits to the beautiful French-speaking island of Guadeloupe. “Errance” is a French word meaning to “to wander,” or a “roving, wandering life,” also, “a risky, edgy, wandering life.” The title poem, “Errançities,” exemplifies all these concepts for me, as do other poems in the collection. I first discovered the word while reading the poems of Edouard Glissant, the late, distinguished poet, philosopher, novelist, and critical thinker from Martinique. I fell in love with the word and its meaning, and it seemed to apply to my life and the poems I was writing at the time—poems about different places I was visiting in the world.
But, and although I love the word “errance” and what it means, I felt it wasn’t exactly what I needed. So I coined the neologism errançities, an expression I felt more at home with, especially in the way the new word sounded, rolled off my tongue, and because it contains the word “cities” in it. In my mind I think of the word as a noun, because it identifies people, animals, places or things, even abstract concepts.
The rhythm and tone of errançities was also closer to another neologism of mine, Trancircularities, which was the title of my seventh book of poems, published by Coffee House in 2002. Also, in my mind, errançities means plural wanderings of many lives, rather than one life. Thus, Errançities is the title of this new book of poems: I hope you enjoy some of them.
—Quincy Troupe, January 19th, 2012, New York City
photo of Quincy Troupe by Chris Felver
Blues & Classical & Experimental & Jazz & Poetry & Literature
Missed the Show?