December 7, 2006

In My Own Words: Kamau Brathwaite

Kamau BrathwaiteGreetings VanGuard! juss spenn the afternoon - this whole electronic revolution goin have to invent new SPACETIME (e=mc2) fe a-we. so that the MORE there is, the LESS it will be!! -

but i spenn the afternooooon inta yr spectrum (we also haffe niX this word BLOGG, since is light not damp/bright not swamp!)

wiff Pam, the Book Fair photos (nex stop VIDEO!), yr Joseph po and all pun a sudden, juss when me was clickin out, I see this LIST of Caribb writers and under KB5, de WHOLE CP struggle enterprize, clearly beautiFULLY set out, with illus & ting. Yu cyaaant imaj how this bear mwe up, esp in the face of de continuing silence from the Authorities (not Authors!) in that dear belovèd place, about my future, the callous indifference, the more so since more & more i yearn to be back there - the ancestors man! - is TEN YEARS STRUGGLE NOW MAN!! -

to build - befo is too late -

the lil dream there, to have a place of me own there that I cd share wid all a we for the sake a de future a de poetry of de LIFE - not sodabiscuits, man!

And coming out of the afternoon, I not only thanking you again, and lookin at you, our brother, but i want you to kno that yr spectrum yr crucible yr CARIBBEAN VOICES is goin be reQ readin for all my students of Caribbean lit here at NYU from now on forth & with and i hope - i sure! - that others will think this adoption way too & overdue.

I'm going see if our Lib can't inc it somehow in their electronic section, so that stu(s) can go there and have it projected onto big screem. Can you imaj the effect of a-we pun de big-scream? this a development of the CARIBBEAN ARTIST MOVEMANT, man!



Kamau Brathwaite, winner of the Griffin Prize 2006, is an internationally celebrated poet, performer, and cultural theorist. Co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement, he was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and has a PhD from the University of Sussex in the UK. He has served on the board of directors of UNESCO’s History of Mankind project since 1979, and as cultural advisor to the government of Barbados from 1975-1979 and again since 1990. Brathwaite has received numerous awards, among them the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bussa Award, the Casa de las Américas Prize, and the Charity Randall Prize for Performance and Written Poetry. He has received Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, among many others. His book, The Zea Mexican Diary (1992) was The Village Voice Book of the Year. Brathwaite has authored many works, including Middle Passages (1994), Ancestors (2001) and The Development of Creole Society, 1770-1820 (2005). Over the years, he has worked in the Ministry of Education in Ghana and taught at the University of the West Indies, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nairobi, Boston University, Holy Cross College, Yale University and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. Brathwaite is currently a professor of comparative literature at New York University. He divides his time between CowPastor , Barbados and New York City.



Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Kamau,
Thank you for your contribution. Yes, "blogg" does sound like swamp/damp, but perhaps we could come to a compromise that out of this murkiness lotuses bloom?

It's been almost a year now that I've been blogging and I am mrveling at the way that I and the blog have changed.

I've written enough about how I have changed, but your contribution is a new, unexpected, and welcome. And I guess this was an unspoken aim of the blog: to give a greater voice to the writers from the Caribbean. I hope this will become a place where our writers can just drop in and talk about their work because I fear (and I've seen it in my own work) that the more we seek publication within the Academy, the less free our writing will become.

Blogging is this new freedom which I hope other writers will embrace. Some important and flaky ideas are being discussed in the blogsosphere: who are we? who is we? what are our views about sexuality? religion? politics? (See the Caribloggrs)My hope is that these discussions will filter into the general voabulary of the islands because bloggers are part of the priveleged in the digital divide. But I am convinced that the more these ideas are discussed, the more free we are.


Anonymous said...

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Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Stunner,
Glad you visited and happy you found the any means necessary.