people arrived

people arrived from portugal. people arrived from africa. people arrived from

india. people arrived from england. people arrived from china. people

predated arrival. people fled predation. people were arrayed. people populated.

whips patterned rays into people. people arose. people rayed outward to

toronto, london, boo york. people raided people. people penned the past.

people roved over on planes. people talked over people. people rented places.

people planted people in people. people raided plantations. people prayed.

people re-fried. people died and didn't get second glances. people won

scholarships and vanished. people lived atop people. people represented

people. people drain-brained. people studied for the common entrance.

people paraded. people stumbled and tranced. people took two steps

backward. people simmered and boiled over. people plantain. people orphan.

people sugarcane. people undocumented. people underground. people never

lauded, landed. people arrived but. people             . people departed and

arrived again. people retreaded. people stole knowing. people plantation.

people horizon. people done run from people. people arrived not knowing

their patterns. people arrived riven, alone in the world. people made their

war from time. people hailed from climes. people fanned their spreading.

people cleaved unto people. people writhed over / under people. people

arrived over / under people

Dive in
  1. Who are the people in the poem? 
  2. There is a caesura, a white space, in the middle of the poem. How does that space surprise or distort the reading of the poem? Why do you think that space exists? 
  3. What is the effect of the forward slash in the poem? 
  4. What could the word “people” be substituted with in the poem? 
  5. At the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam, Kaie collaborated with electronic percussionist Alon Ilsar to give a remarkable performance of people arrive: (start 2:19) After reviewing, how does this experience reframe your reading of the poem? What have you learned about the orality of the text?  
  6. Prompt:
    1. make a list of 20 new titles of this poem. Choose your favourite title to use as a prompt to write an abecedarian poem




  1. Choose three lines from the poem that stand out to you the most. Using this voice changer found here or using one of your own if you have access to such equipment, record your chosen lines from the poem and experiment with the different sound qualities. When you find something you like, practice reciting those lines while mimicking the vocal inflection. Once you feel comfortable with the sound quality, set a timer for 10 minutes and audio record yourself improvising new work from those three lines in that new voice. 




  1. Also a well-regarded lecturer, Kaie often incorporates electronic sound by performing live with a modular synthesizer. Experiment with the theme of “identity” and write a prose poem while listening to this soundscape called accordéon launch produced and performed live by Kaie Kellough. 




In 2020, Kaie Kellough won the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize for his book Magnetic Equator. Watch his post-award ceremony interview with the Montreal Gazette here:


Get a closer look at Kaie’s journey to becoming a professional storyteller, writer of poetry and fiction. This article interview’s Kaie


Dive In written by
Bibliographical info
Kaie Kellough, "people arrived" from Magnetic Equator. Copyright © 2019 by Kaie Kellough. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Magnetic Equator (McClelland & Stewart, 2019)
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