March 2, 2007

Fear of Stones by Kei Miller

Kei MillerKei Miller's first collection of short stories, Fear of Stones, has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Miller, whose poetry collection, Kingdom of Empty Bellies, was published by Heaventree in 2006, has been praised in the Caribbean for his warm portrayals of religion, his sensuous use of Jamaican Standard English, and his courageous discussions of homosexuality and femininity.

Alongside Willie Chen, he is one of two Caribbean writers nominated for the prestigious international award. Their presence on this year's shortlist is particularly exciting for the Caribbean since the winner will be declared at Jamaica's Calabash Festival in late May.

Both Chen and Miller are published in the Macmillan Caribbean Writers series, which Jonathan Morley, editorial director at Heaventree, now coordinates, having recently taken over from the critic and dramatist Judy Stone. Stone is said to be "delighted" at the news, while Morley adds, "Kei's reading tour of the West Midlands in the August of 2006 proved a delight with English audiences."

Praise for Kingdom of Empty Bellies

"Raise high the roofbeams, here comes a strong new presence in poetry. Kei Miller's is a voice we will hear much more of for it sings with a rare confidence and authority."--Lorna Goodison

"There is a startling sophistication about these poems, suggesting a poet of striking promise."--David Dabydeen

"Radiant utterance that speaks of island experiences and gender politics from a deep well of understanding, with empathy, humour and insight."--Olive Senior

Kingdom of Empty Bellies is divided into three sections and illustrates various aspects of island life, notably the experience of Baptist women and of traditional African religious forms, of dreams and spirituality and of the “rum shop.”

To order Kingdom of Empty Bellies, please follow this link: Heaventree Press.

Kingdom of Empty Bellies



On Monday, "In My Own Words: Mikey Jiggs," founder of Reggae Concepts and the filmmaker behind Dub Poetry: The Life and Work of Malachi Smith.



eemanee said...

i love a good short story. but unless you're buying online or the book is on a school/university syllabus it is somewhat difficult to source (a variety) books by Caribbean authors.

Geoffrey Philp said...

eemanee, you are so right and I've been changing the blog to do just that. I've invited the writers to send me press releases and to do the "In My Own Words" series. But it's not just writers.

On Monday, Mikey Jiggs, who did the dub-u-mentary of Malachi will talk about the process of making the film. So the blog will change in that way too and become a repository of how and why our artists do what they do and some of the issue they face to do what they do.
Tune in on Monday for Mikey's post, it will be a nice one!

Nicholas Laughlin said...

Perhaps some of your readers will be interested to know that both Fear of Stones and Kingdom of Empty Bellies are reviewed by Edward Baugh in the current (February 2007) issue of The Caribbean Review of Books.