How to Get (Young) People Reading

28 11 2018

                                                                                                  PHOTO: lITHUB.COM

WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO TO GET PEOPLE READING

THE STORY OF ALVIN IRBY AND BARBERSHOP BOOKS

Alvin Irby never wanted to become a teacher, the same profession his mother held for over 30 years in the Little Rock, Arkansas school district in which he grew up. But the adults in Irby’s life saw potential in him that he couldn’t see in himself. “My high school principal, one day during my senior year, he told me, ‘You’re going to be a better principal than I ever was,’” Irby recalls. “And I remember looking at him and saying, ‘Never! I will never go into education!’”

Yet his principal proved prescient. Irby did go into education, and after teaching for several years, he founded Barbershop Books, a reading incentive program that connects young black boys, ages four to eight, to books in male-centered reading spaces. “Barbershop Books’ primary goal is to increase the out-of-school reading time among black boys and to help young black boys identify as readers,” Irby says. “A lot of reading programs are focused on reading skills. That’s not what Barbershop Books is about. Our program is about connecting fun books to a male-centered space, and involving black men in boys’ early reading experiences.”

The seeds for the idea were planted when Irby was a high school sophomore. “In tenth grade, I was in regular English class,” he says. “We were reading short stories and doing spelling lists. This is what we were doing in tenth grade English. And I remember being bored out of my mind.”

So he went to his guidance counselor and requested a more challenging class. “When I switched into this pre-AP class, one of the first things that I noticed when I looked around, or a question that popped in my head, was, ‘Where did all of these white people come from?’” Irby says. “My regular English class was all black. When I switched into this advanced class, all of a sudden, there were white kids everywhere. I didn’t even know they were in the school! And then I started to wonder, why are these classes divided along racial lines like this? What is that about?”

Read further @ Literary Hub





A World of New Fiction

14 01 2012


Winners for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition for 2011

Two writers from Barbados and one from Trinidad and Tobago are winners in the prestigious Commonwealth Short Story Competition for 2011. Another Caribbean writer from Jamaica received a special mention for her children’s story.

Kathyann Husbands’ “Love, Honour and Obeah” and Edwina Griffith’s short story “White Shoes” received highly competitive awards, along with Sonja Dumas of Trinidad and Tobago for her tale “Letting Cockroaches Live.” The regional winner for the Caribbean was Barbara Jenkins of Trinidad and Tobago, with her entry “Head Not Make for Hat Alone.” Husbands commented that her win was “proof that Barbadians have intriguing stories that the world wants to hear.”

Read full article @ Repeating Islands





New Collection of Short Stories on Jamaican Society

10 01 2012

Parable of the Mangoes, a new collection of short stories by Jamaica’s Jean Goulbourne

As poet and novelist, Jean L. Goulbourne writes about the distress, anger, struggle and creativity which she witnesses in Jamaican society from the perspective of a historian and educator (she is a lecturer in History and Social Studies at Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville, Jamaica). Her writing is poetic, economical, pungent and stimulating, and she has received several writing awards. Goulbourne recently published a collection of short stories called Parable of the Mangoes (Abeng Press, 2011). Here are two book reviews, the first by Jean Small and the second by Amazon.com. We thank Peter Jordens for the information in this post.

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s 2010 gold medalist for short-story writing, Jean Goulbourne, has wasted no time in producing her newest collection of stories, Parable of the Mangoes, published by Abeng Press.

Born in Black River on Jamaica’s south coast, Jean developed a keen eye and ear for all that happened around her in rural Jamaica. These 12 stories express a love of the land, a commitment to the development of the nation, and a sympathetic and compassionate understanding of the lives of a people whose ancestors experienced the harsh circumstances of colonization and slavery.

Read full article @ Repeating Islands





Booklaunch latest book by Dominican Writer

5 11 2011

New Book: Carmen Imbert-Brugal’s “Memorias de la Señora”

Dominican writer Carmen Imbert-Brugal will present her most recent book of short stories Memorias de la Señora (Editorial Santuario, 2011) at the XIV International Book Fair of Puerto Rico, which takes place from November 9-13, 2011. The presentation will take place on November 9, at 7:00pm, at the Poets Café at the Peace Pavilion (Luís Muñoz Rivera Park).

[Also see Puerto Rico’s XIV International Book Fair]

Read full article @ Repeating Islands