Yesterday St. Martin identity was open for discussion

30 05 2012


GREATBAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin (May 28, 2012)—“Imagining the St. Martin Nation” in two books by Lasana M. Sekou was the subject of a pre-book fair discussion taking place at Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Tuesday, May 29, from 7:30 pm – 9 pm.

“A panel of experts discussed the St. Martin people, identity, nationhood and notions of sovereignty as explored in Sekou’s short stories and poetry,” said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The experts or discussants were Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, linguist, researcher, educator (St. Martin), Emilio Jorge Rodríguez, author, essayist, scholar (Cuba), and Dr. Maria van Enckevort, historian, researcher, educator (St. Martin).

The books that got the critical treatment were Brotherhood of the Spurs (on the 15th anniversary of its publication), and The Salt Reaper, the critically reviewed poetry collection.

The general public was both invited to attend and encouraged to participate in the discussion of the ideas and books that some of them might have read, said Shujah Reiph, coordinator of the 10th annual St. Martin Book Fair.

Both books by the St. Martin author were published nearly 10 years apart. Have there been any changes in direction in the St. Martin reality or in the author’s two works? Are any of the dreams in the books being fulfilled in the St. Martin of today? “These are some of the questions that were going to be addressed, said Reiph.

It was Reiph who came up with the idea “to put the two books under a critical hard stare in plain view for all to interact with the discussion,” said Sample. This may be the first time that a St. Martin literary text will be so discussed on the island.

The reader of selections of both titles was Marie Richardson, assistant principal at St. Dominic School.

The 10th annual St. Martin Book Fair will take place on May 31 – June 2,2012, and opens at Belair Community Center on Thursday at 8 pm.

The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP  in collaboration with St. MaartenTourist Bureau, the Ministry of Education & Culture (MECSY), the Collectivity of St. Martin, and the University of St. Martin.

For book fair updates visit The St. Martin Book Fair site

 

Brotherhood of the Spurs            The Salt Reaper               National symbols of St. Martin

All these books are available @ BOOKISH PLAZA





BookIsh Plaza Ezine May issue is out

28 05 2012

Our new BookIsh Plaza Ezine May issue is out with interesting news for the upcoming Summer Season. Catch up on your reading during the Summer.   Especially for you we compiled a Summer Fiction Reading List. There is also news on Summer events where BookIsh Plaza will be coming to you with books. So come meet & greet us. We hope you enjoy reading the ezine.

Check it out BookIsh Plaza Ezine nr 6, MAY 2012

The BookIsh Plaza Team





Lecture on the Aruban literature

31 03 2012

THE LECTURE WILL BE IN THE DUTCH LANGUAGE!





Caribbean Writers Roots on New CD

14 01 2012


British Library publishes CD of Caribbean and black British poetry to mark Black History Month

“Your mango ripe?”
Grandma stop feeling and squeezing up me fruit.
You aren’t playing in no band.
Me mango ain’t no concertina.’

– Amryl Johnson, Granny in de Market Place

In celebration of Black History Month the British Library has released a new 2-CD set, Caribbean Roots, featuring some of the most significant Caribbean and black British poets of the past several decades reading their own work. The 2-CD anthology features recordings first issued by the British Library on cassette over twenty years ago, together with previously unissued live performances.

Poets include Linton Kwesi Johnson, E A Markham, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, David Dabydeen, Amryl Johnson, James Berry, John Agard, Grace Nichols, Benjamin Zephaniah and Michael Smith.

The poets share a range of experiences, emotions, and influences, reflecting both the culture of the Caribbean and life as a black person in Britain.

Read full article @ Uk Black Writers Board





Lasana Sekou’s Nativity in “Caribbean Civilization” class at UWI Trinidad

12 12 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 GREAT BAY, St. Martin (December 11, 2011)—The first semester of the 2011-2012 academic year is winding down with exams and book reports. And one student has something to say about one of the books that her class had to study this semester at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad & Tobago.
Nativity should be implemented as a text because it illustrates the shaping of Caribbean culture and identity,” said Kelita Stewart recently.
The undergraduate student was talking about Nativity/Nativité/Natividad by Lasana M. Sekou – her experience with the book and exchanges among her classmates.

By Jacqueline Sample

Nativity was utilized in the Course Foun1101 Caribbean Civilisation,” said Dr. John Campbell, the course lecturer at UWI’s St. Augustine campus.
The students were required to read, discuss, and write an end-term paper about the Nativity long poem by the St. Martin writer, studied a tone of the region’s premier institutions of higher learning.
The Caribbean Civilization class is taken by students majoring in disciplines ranging from political science to banking and finance. The course is offered on more than one UWI campus.

Nativity “will allow students to appreciate the evolution of the region out of colonialism which is deeply rooted,” said Stewart, an International Relations (Bsc) major.
To Campbell, himself a scholar, and other proponents of Caribbean Civilization studies such as Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the field for study stretches from pre-Columbian influences to projecting concepts about the very futures that the peoples of the region are determined to build.

The UWI foundation (Foun1101) course may scratch the vast surface but it gives ambitious insights into an exciting area of study emerging in and about the Caribbean region – and may even include what some are calling the Caribbean Diaspora. (This is probably a new name for George Lamming’s term of the region’s “external frontiers.”)

An epic poem like Nativity maybe Sekou’s attempt at an ambitious poem.
In the nine-strophes of Nativity the poet brazenly draws relationships into and from the region, exposes critical details and references. Not even children’s games, Santo Domingo jumbie names, Chinese immigrants, Indian indentured, or “the battery flesh of Brimstone Hill labor” (page 13)are immune from his “journeying” pen strokes.
Sekou shoots out this “bare” globe-hopping data as verse, as if from the Great Salt Pond, “through barren wilds of fields & foundries” (Nativity, page 1).

“Hopefully the UWI students were exposed to interpreting aspects of the elements that Nativity chronicles, elemental to and generative of the peoples, cultures, histories, politics, geographies, and economies that are forging our Caribbean civilization,” said Sekou.
UWI describes the 3-credit course as one “designed to develop an awareness of the main process of cultural development in Caribbean societies, highlighting the factors, … that have fed the emergence of Caribbean identities. To develop a perception of the Caribbean as wider than island nations or linguistic blocs. To stimulate students’ interest in, and commitment to Caribbean civilization and to further their self-determination.”

So is Nativity, with its English, French, and Spanish versions in the one book, along with its extensive glossary, a fitting poem for such a fundamental course? Canadian researcher and author Afua Cooper seems to think so: “If I were to choose a text to teach the African Diaspora, it would be Nativity because it opens up multiple poetic portals into the vast dimension of Black people and their life story.”

Nativity can be used in courses on poetry, literature, culture, history, anthropology, ethnography, writing, politics, mathematics, religion, romance, performance, dance, architecture, maritime studies, environmental studies, and science.”
“It can also be used as a reference to tell the intersectional global story of Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia,” wrote Cooper in her introductionto the trilingual edition of Nativity.

Professor Conrad James used Nativity in 2010, as a required text in his Latin American and Caribbean Studies class at the University of Birmingham, England.
According to James, “Nativity is a quintessentially Caribbean work. It is partly this commitment to understanding the Caribbean in regional rather than narrow national terms, which accounts for the brilliant erudition of the text” by Sekou. 

Buy NATIVITY/NATIVITE/NATIVIDAD @ BOOKISH PLAZA





Poems Influenced by Calypso & Jazz

23 11 2011


New Book and Album: Anthony Joseph’s “Rubber Orchestras”

 

Rubber Orchestras is a new collection by Trinidadian–born British poet Anthony Joseph, released this month by Salt Publishing. It is also the title of Joseph’s third album with The Spasm Band, which was released earlier this year.

Taking its name from a poem by American surrealist Ted Joans, Rubber Orchestras is an energetic, sensuous and intriguing collection of poems, written over a period of four years with an (as yet) undisclosed method of composition the writer calls Liminalism. This collection was selected from 100 poems written using this method. This is the poets’ most radical work so far, in parts psychedelic, surrealist but always engaging. [. . .] The book is divided into three sections: Precious and Impossible — a selection of poems influenced in subject and style by calypso and jazz; The Colony of Light — poems concerning Caribbean history and society; and Grotesquerie, in which there are darker, more obscure poems.

Read full article @ Repeating Islands





NEW! BookIsh Plaza Ezine

13 11 2011


The BookIsh Plaza Team is proud to announce that our very first BookIsh Plaza Ezine is out; the new ezine on (Caribbean) literature, poetry and non fiction books. This ezine will be coming out each month with interesting books and news on the (Caribbean) bookfront. In this issue we have news of a booklaunch coming up this week, new arrived books at BookIsh Plaza, the developments around the novel Verborgen leegte, the upcoming UniArte Expo, in depth poetry in Spiel di mi Alma and much more.

We are sure you’ll enjoy our first issue. Do let us know what you think of this new ezine, by sending us an e-mail at info@bookishplaza.com.
Next month we’ll be bringing you a special issue for the Christmas Season.

Feel free to pass the ezine on to persons who may be interested.
If you want to subscribe to our ezine, send an e-mail to info@bookishplaza.com

Check out the ezine here BookIsh Plaza Ezine nr 1 nov. 2011

The BookIsh Plaza Team