February 27, 2009

"Pursuing Your Passion": African American Male Summit

A few years ago, I used to teach a research course in which I used Awakening the Heroes Within by Carol S. Pearson as a means for my students not only to identify role models in their particular discipline, but also for them to learn from their heroes a way out of the labyrinth of choices that they would have to make and to avoid the siren calls that would lead them off the paths they had chosen.

For some students, this was the ideal assignment and they dived into the work—often producing lengthy tomes and teaching me at the same time about the work of artists such as Dai Sil Kim-Gibson. For some students, however, when they realized what was needed to pursue their dreams, they chickened out and wrote me a paper on Oprah Winfrey.

And then there were some students who were clueless. And no matter how much I talked about “following your bliss” as Joseph Campbell advised, they still didn’t know what they wanted. It wasn’t until I had one-on-one meetings with him or her in my office and asked, “If you won a million dollars right now, what would you be doing?” And then, I would get an immediate answer such as, “Oh, that’s easy. I’d be doing X or Y.” To which I’d respond, “Then, why aren’t you doing it?”

For some students, the light went on immediately. And that’s the moment that we as teachers all love—that moment when you’ve met a student who has found her way and you as a teacher have helped her to discover her path.

I won’t lie and say that this happened often, but when it did, I gave thanks that the moment of grace happened and that I was present to witness it.

For the few for whom there was no light, I could only pray that even if they passed my class by a writing a great paper on Nelson Mandela, that they would find another teacher to inspire them because I knew that without that “Fire in the belly,” as General Colin Powell (another perennial favorite) once described as the reason for his withdrawal from the presidential race, then the student would never have a successful life or career.

Because that what it takes. Fire. Commitment. Passion. Without this fire, without the passion, you will never get past the stages of indentifying your goals, planning the means to achieve the goal, and living your dreams. It’s the fire that allows you to find the will to get up early in the morning (long before your peers have awakened) and for you to work into the night (long after your peers have fallen asleep). It is this fire that sustains you through your apprenticeship, the tedium that will come even of the best of days, and on the days when everything goes wrong. It may even see you through the times when you think you aren’t getting the recognition that you deserve.

But you know what? The applause, the credit, the money shouldn’t be the reason why you are working in your discipline. In a new book, The Bald Truth, David Falk, the agent who propelled Michael Jordan’s career into the stratosphere, notes that the trait that all the top players in every sport share: a for the love of the game and not the dollars.

Sure, we’d all love to have Jordan’s fame and dollars, but that’s not the reason why we should get into a line of work. For over the long haul, we are bound to be disappointed once we look back and see where we’ve invested all our energy. We will have seen that what we have done has not given us the sense of life—the joy of life that comes from Flow—those hours when time and space disappear and we are caught up in the rapture of doing what we really love—something that expands our horizons—those moments when we step beyond the boundaries of race and class--whatever else that binds us to the small, limited versions of ourselves-- to discover what it means to be truly human--for we have discovered the passion in which we can invest our whole being. This is life. This is fire. This is passion. And as Henry Miller once reminded us, “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”


Text from a lecture @ the African- American Male Summit,Miami Dade College, North Campus, February 27, 2009


Update: Don't miss a guest post by Pam Mordecai on Friday, March 6, 2009:

Letter to a Young Writer.

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February 25, 2009

New Release: "Square Watermelons" by Marisella Veiga

Marisella VeigaNationally syndicated columnist Marisella Veiga has released a spoken word CD, “Square Watermelons: Ten Essays on Living with Two Cultures.”

The essays, written and read in English, explore what life is like as a U.S. Hispanic, a person who balances two cultures. The 56-minute CD provides entertainment that Veiga hopes increases understanding and tolerance about how immigrants adapt to a different way of life in the United States.

The CD highlights the meshing and clashing natural to the assimilation process. English-only listeners have embraced it, as have bilingual listeners. Veiga plans a version in her native Spanish as well.

“Square Watermelons is ‘un encanto,’ (an enchantment) from start to finish, a perfect blend of heart and mind, insider and outsider, English and Spanish, written and spoken, heartache and comedy, music and text. This rich mixture creates a fresh perspective on the value of living in several worlds simultaneously,” writes Holly Iglesias, author of “Souvenirs of a Shrunken World” and University of North Carolina—Asheville professor.

“She wrote with an eloquence that I felt should be put to music, and now she’s done that,” says Charlie Ericksen, who syndicated most of the essays as editor and founder of Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C.

A classical guitarist accompanies Veiga’s reading. Mario Escandel, a graduate of the Havana Municipal Conservatory, has taken Cuban popular musical selections by Cuban composers and arranged them for the classical guitar.

“It’s the music of my home—both of Cuba and Miami; my father plays,” Veiga says. She hopes to increase appreciation of her native culture by sharing its musical talent as well.

The CD is available online at www.eclipserecording.com or by calling Eclipse Recording Studios at 904-794-1872.

For more information, contact Marisella Veiga at 904-501-4647 or mveiga@bellsouth.net or Charlie Ericksen at 202-234-0280 or Charlie@hispaniclink.org

Marisella Veiga was born in Havana, Cuba, and went into exile with her family in 1960. She was raised both in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Miami, Florida. She received a B.A. in English from Macalester College and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and literary anthologies. Veiga has won The Pushcart Prize XX, Best of the Small Presses, Special Mention in Fiction, the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Best Short Story in The Caribbean Writer. She was also given the Evelyn LaPierre Award for Journalism in Alexandria, Virginia. Recently, Veiga released a spoken word recording that collects 10 of her nationally syndicated columns. Square Watermelons: Ten Essays on Living with Two Cultures. She lives with her husband in St. Augustine, Florida.


February 23, 2009

Have no fear, Brother Barack

Have no fear, Brother Barack,
of the noise rising from the banks of the Potomac at twilight,
whose only currency is hate, a hunger for night

to swarm around weaknesses or to launch an attack
against those who choose to heal rather than to fight.
Have no fear, Brother Barack,

For there is a greater force gathering behind your back
Those who have awakened to hope instead of spite
Who knead tears into bread and bless the morning light.
Have no fear, Brother Barack.


February 20, 2009

Marlon James: The Book of Night Women

Marlon James will be reading from The Book of Night Women at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134, @ 8 p.m on March 2, 2009. Stay tuned for more details.


February 18, 2009

Bob Marley: A Life by Garry Steckles

Bob MarleyOne of the twentieth century’s most revered cultural figures, Bob Marley was responsible for carrying reggae music far beyond the Caribbean and establishing it as an international force. He set attendance records that still stand in Europe and his 1977 Exodus album was hailed by Time magazine as the greatest of the 20th Century, but Marley was no mere pop star: His combination of politically and socially conscious lyrics, unforgettable melodies, uncompromising Rastafarian beliefs and fierce hostility to the injustices of "Babylon" made his music the voice of the poor and dispossessed all over the globe.

In this new biography, Garry Steckles tells Marley’s story from his birth in rural Jamaica to his tragically early death in 1981, by which time he’d overcome poverty and prejudice to become the Third World’s first superstar.

Steckles, who has been intimately involved with reggae for more than three decades as a writer, concert promoter, broadcaster and fan, transports you into the smoky Kingston studios where Marley made his first recordings, documents his often turbulent relationships with reggae legends like studio pioneer Clement "Coxson" Dodd, fellow Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, and the wildly eccentric producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, introduces you to behind-the-scenes legends like Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and the volatile PR genius Charles Comer, and takes you on the Rasta roller-coaster that carried Marley to the cover of the Rolling Stone and global adulation.

Praise for Bob Marley: A Life

"If you have never heard or read about Bob Marley, this book is the best place to begin…. For someone like myself who knew Marley personally and has read nearly everything ever written about him, the book makes me feel like I’m reading about Bob Marley for the first time… If you want to place a Marley biography in your library, this is the one to buy."

~Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah
Eminent Rastafarian author, broadcaster and journalist.

"Bob Marley: A Life succeeds in telling the story of a man who has left an incredible library of work to be enjoyed by generations to come with warmth and style. It is a treasure of Marley lore, an inspired examination of the man, his music and his legacy. Quite simply -- to put it in musical terms -- it is a hit."
~Toronto Sun

"Bob Marley is worth the time for anyone interested in the post-Beatles era, reggae music, and Jamaican life, society and politics."
~Bob Berlinghof, Caribbean Compass

"Steckles focuses on the musical narrative of Marley’s life and, by so doing, crafts a biography that is rich in musical detail and lore ... Bob Marley: A Life is the initial instalment of Macmillan's Caribbean Lives series ... If they are all as informative and as well written as Garry Steckles’ splendid biography, it promises to make for a memorable series on the history of Caribbean politics and culture."
~Caribbean Review of Books


February 17, 2009

2009 Cave Canem Retreat

Cave CanemAdult African American poets are invited to participate in Cave Canem's 14th annual retreat, June 21 - June 28, 2009, to be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Retreat residencies offer an unparalleled opportunity to study with a world-class faculty and join a community of peers. 2009 faculty members are Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, Angela Jackson, Colleen J. McElroy, Ed Roberson and guest poet Natasha Trethewey. The deadline to apply is March 5, 2009. For more information, see our application guidelines or visit our website.
"Cave Canem is a hard place. Safe space is paradoxical. It doesn’t mean freedom to write anything without critique. Cave Canem is a place where you are free to risk."
— Toi Derricotte, Gathering Ground

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February 16, 2009

25 Writers Meme

25 writers memeI've been tagged by Fragano for this meme. The deal is to name 25 writers who have influenced you, and then tag 25 people.

Hear ye the gospel according to Fragano: "Influence" does not mean the same thing as "enjoy a lot."

Here are my 25 writers in no particular order:

  1. Derek Walcott
  2. Kamau Brathwaite
  3. Dennis Scott
  4. Anthony McNeill
  5. VS Naipaul
  6. Ernest Hemingway
  7. William Faulkner
  8. Mathew Arnold
  9. Alexander Pope
  10. Bob Marley
  11. James W. Hall
  12. Athol Fugard
  13. Orlando Patterson
  14. Dante
  15. Flannery O'Connor
  16. Robert Lowell
  17. George Lamming
  18. Gabriel García Marquéz
  19. Edgar Mittelholzer
  20. Mervyn Morris
  21. Pablo Neruda
  22. Elizabeth Bishop
  23. Robert Penn Warren
  24. Albert Camus
  25. Sylvia Plath

Here are the 25 bloggers that I'm tagging:

Dave Lucas
Rethabile Masilo
Professor Zero
Black Looks
Susan's Journal of Literary Things
Crafty Green Poet
Monique Roffey
Signifyin' Guyana
Black Threads
The Fearless Blog
Tobias Buckell Online
Doan Mind Me
Jack Mandora
The Prisoner's Wife
Life, Unscripted, on the Rock
My thoughts...on stuff
A Brave New Word
What's in a Name - Island Girl Musings
Boldness, Genius, Power, Magic
The Illumination Blog
Duane Francis
Morphological Confetti
Black-Eyed Susan's Blog

Of course, dear Reader, if you'd also like to join in on the fun, tell me about your 25...


February 14, 2009

I Heart New York

Empire State from the Metro Hotel

Dear New York,

Everyone knows that I love older women, so it was great to see you again!

You, of course, were looking great! But I gotta tell you, although many of your streets were looking cleaner than the last time I saw you, you're showing your age, old girl.

Still, the big surprise was how much friendlier you've gotten over the years. Everywhere I went, your no-nonsense New Yorkers were more courteous, and one young man even called me, "Sir." (Am I, too, getting old?--don't say it!)

It was a short and sweet vacation, and I'm back in Miami in balmy weather. But it was good to see you again.

And despite everything, you still have a place in my heart.



New York, New York on Flickr

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February 10, 2009

New Issue of Juke Jar !

The latest issue of Juke Jar is now available and includes one of my favorite poems by Rethabile Masilo.


Ruth Sabath Rosenthal.....3rd Ave. and 85th St., NYC

Geoffrey Philp

William M. Alexander.....Six
Steel Strings


Rethabile Masilo

Holly Ridge

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February 9, 2009

Love Me Tender: Poetry and Prose to Celebrate Black History Month and Valentine's Day

The City of North Miami Beach Public Library invites you to join us as poets Marva McClean, Ivy Armstrong and Donna Weir-Soley present poetry with an island flair, celebrating the enduring role love plays in all of our relationships.

Wednesday evening, February 11, 2009.
Reception is 6 pm and presentation is at 6:30 P.M.
North Miami Beach Public Library,
1601 NE 164th Street, North Miami Beach, Florida
Telephone: 305-948-2970.

PLEASE NOTE: The City of North Miami Beach is a public entity subject to Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes concerning public records. E-mail messages are covered under such laws and thus subject to disclosure. All e-mail sent and received is captured by our servers and kept as public record.


February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bob Marley (2009)

Bob Marley

For Brother Bob

Again and again, I heard your voice,
Whispering through the noise, "Don't cry. Just sing."
In the dregs of a bottle thinking I didn't have a choice,
Again and again, I heard your voice.

When I felt even my bones were cursed,
and my body trembled from the troubles Babylon can bring,
Again and again, I heard your voice,
Whispering through the noise, "Don't cry. Just sing."


"For Brother Bob" is an excerpt from my latest manuscript, DUB WISE.

Villager: Rest in Peace: Bob Marley

February 5, 2009

25 Random Things About Me: Geoffrey Philp

Philp & Luciano

1. I am a writer.
2. I am married to gorgeous woman and we have three children.
3. I sleep with my feet outside the covers.
4. I have a new collection of short stories, Who’s Your Daddy?, coming out in April.
5. I’m reading at the Calabash Literary Festival.
6. I went to the best high school in Jamaica and the Caribbean: Jamaica College.
7. I teach English and creative writing at Miami Dade College where I am the chairperson of the College Prep. Department.
8. I love football. In fact, I once played for my high school Manning Cup team
9. I am Pi.
10. I was born in Kingston, Jamaica and I used to live in Mona Heights.
11. I love to eat naseberries!
12. I’ve lived in Miami for 30 years now.
13. I’ve always worried about my kids and continue to do so.
14. I have 12 brothers and sisters who are scattered over the globe.
15. According to my grandmother, I have Arawak blood.
16. I love Reggae.
17. Color blindness runs in my family, so I’m worried about my daughter who is a graphic artist.
18. I’m starting to play tennis again.
19. I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness before I moved to America and lost my religion.
20. One of my favorite places at the University of Miami was the Rathskellar.
21. I sometimes have nightmares about being back in gradual school.
22. The first mention of a PHILP in the Doomsday book was because of drunk and disorderly conduct: "I'm just carryin' on an old family tradition."
23. I don’t Twitter as much as I should.
24. I’ve watched The Matrix a million times.
25. I have a new manuscript of poems, DUB WISE, that I’m hoping will find a good home.


If you would like to be tagged, then, consider yourself to be...

February 4, 2009

In My Own Words: Ralph C. Thompson

Ralph ThompsonOn one of his visits to Jamaica Derek Walcott said to me, “Thompson, every time I come to Jamaica I feel your anger about the state of politics in Jamaica and the corruption contaminating the society. Why don’t you reflect this indignation in your next collection.” And that is how I came to write View From Mount Diablo which won the 2001 Jamaican National Literary Award.

Two facts to bear in mind: I am white and I am 80 years old. the first precludes me from using Emancipation or any other black triumph as a poetic epiphany; the second allows me to focus, more or less, on an 80 year span of Jamaican history to which I can be a personal witness. No wonder, then, that View, in Wayne Brown’s words is a “deeply pessimistic work,” but he also points out that in the poetic dialectic this is a final testament of my abiding love for my country.

The first step was to recognize that the anger which Walcott recognized needed to be regulated by a relatively strict poetic form or it would turn into a scream. I choose a single- rhymed, loosely heroic quatrain:

…..the corpses glow at night, a nimbus of blue

acetylene burning the darkness under the roof,

lighting up the windows – crunch of bone and sinew

as a foot curls slowly into a cloven hoof.

To keep the awful secret, they are buried in their boots

But under the leather the light still glows, even

As coarse, animal hair begins to bristle

Around the ankles, to sprout along the shins.

The verse novel records Jamaica’s transformation from a colonial society to a post-colonial nation which, in throwing out the baby with the bath water, lost its moral centre.

For aesthetic reasons I collapsed chronology and created a mix of real and imagined characters through which the narrative is threaded. Although corruption has historically been enshrined in both political parties, the times of which I was a personal witness were largely under PNP administration so the poem could be taken as being biased. How else could I record the Green Bay massacre or the Orange Street fire or the regime of police brutality which emerged under the State of Emergency declared by Michael Manley?

I think the poem avoids propaganda because its texture is enriched with characters like Spencer, the despicable capitalist farmer; Nellie, the servant who sexually abuses the boy she is charged to take care of and who subsequently becomes a political enforcer; Tony, “The Frog” Blake, the white lieutenant of Nathan the black drug dealer, and Millicent, the good school teacher who sacrifices a kidney for her nephew’s survival. It is the scope of the narrative that demands the form of a novel yet, unlike a novel, there can be contraction and quick characterizations.

Like all good poems it wrote itself and left me to worry about its craft and formal structure. I worked under Matisse’s rubric L’s Exactitude ne pas le verite (exactitude is not truth), but set aside two hours every day at the same time to let the Muse visit me. This should be the routine of every poet, especially beginners. The Muse is a jealous bitch and if you take her for granted she will withdraw her favours.

View was taught at the University of the West Indies by Professor John Lennard who has prepared an annotated edition shortly to be published by Peepal Tree Press. I was invited to give a guest lecture to the 20 students who took the course. This was when I realized how indispensable my age was to conceiving the poem. The young students knew little or nothing of the history. It was they who had been brain-washed by propaganda and myth.

They were reluctant to believe that Green Bay happened. They were astonished at the cruelty of the Orange Street fire. Hopefully I was able to provide some balance which is really all that poetry can do without falling into didacticism and nationalistic simplicities.

The versatility of poetry and the poetic imagination allowed me to invent a lizard as one of the commentators in the poem. Reacting to the poverty of the drug dealer’s mother, it exclaims:

O green god of lizards, from the stale remnants

Of a shabby life like this what is left for me

To share?

Then the lizard understood

Why God had made the land his masterpiece

To compensate for the utter desolation of its people.

Divine justice of a special sort! Contrite,

The lizard fled. Fog stuck its tongue

Into the socket of the sun, short-circuiting the light


Ralph Thompson was born in America in 1928. His family on his mother’s side goes back three generations in Jamaica, a mixture of crypto Jewish (Isaacs) and Irish stock (Fielding).

Throughout his business career, working as Director of Seprod, Jamaica’s largest private company, first painting (he held a major one-man exhibition in Kingston in 1976) and then poetry have been ordering passions in his life. During a five year sojourn in Florida he did graduate work in English at the University of South Florida and arranged readings there by Derek Walcott, John Figueroa and John Hearne.

His poetry appeared in such journals as The Gleaner, Jamaica Journal, Kyk-over-Al, Carib, The Caribbean Writer and London Magazine, before his first collection, The Denting of a Wave was published by Peepal Tree in 1993. This collection contains a long poem, ‘The Other Island’ which explores his wartime Japanese experience. His second collection, Moving On (Peepal Tree, 1998) includes a witty eighteen part autobiographical poem, ‘Goodbye Aristotle, So Long America’ that deals with the experiences of a white West Indian abroad. View from Mount Diablo, Thompson's book-length narrative poem, won the 2001 Jamaican National Literary Award and was published by Peepal Tree in early 2003.

February 3, 2009

New Release: "I Name Me Name" by Opal Palmer Adisa

Opal Adisa Palmer

Peepal Tree Press & Shola Adisa- Farrar

are Proud to Announce

the Release of


The Latest Anthology by

Opal Palmer Adisa

Purchase your copy today at all major bookstores around the country.

ISBN # 9781845230449

Also available on amazon.com and peepaltreepress.com

I NAME ME NAME is a collection of autobiographical prose, dramatic monologue, lyric poem, praise song, blues and prophetic rant to enact the construction of an identity. At its centre is a Rastafarian sense of 'I'-ness, but its outer dimensions fully encompass an African Jamaican/American woman's radical consciousness of gender, race, geography, the spiritual and the sensual, the social, political and the historical as the co-ordinates of a dynamic space for dialogue and connection.

Support the Arts!

We urge you to Support Opal Palmer Adisa & her work



Opal is also on FACEBOOK and MYSPACE

Opal Palmer Adisa is

Available for Readings, Workshops & Trainings

Contact Opal Today

Tel ephone: 510-219-0704


Shola Adisa-Farrar

Booking Agent

Visit www.opalpalmeradisa.com!

Cell: 917-743-5375


**Visit www.opalpalmeradisa.com Today**

Book Opal for your next event!


February 2, 2009

3rd African American Read-In: Reaching up for Manhood by Geoffrey Canada.

Geoffrey Canada
Boys need to be grounded in faith…Some of what we do has to be direct—talking to them about their beliefs and ours regarding God, life after death, heaven and hell...Some has to be more subtle—exposing them to great works of art music, and poetry that have faith as an underlying theme…We can have them read about Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc— such stories can be found in the histories of every race, religion, and ethnic group (104).

Reaching up for Manhood by Geoffrey Canada.

There are many reasons why I’ve found inspiration in this paragraph from Reaching up for Manhood, and it has nothing to do with the statements about faith and God. Rather, the passage speaks to my vocation as a teacher/writer and the urgency of storytelling.

Among the many insights of Carl Jung, the one that has had the greatest impact on me was his belief in the power of the story. Jung believed that everyone had a story to tell and that the denial of that story led to derangement. So, in a sense, you could say that Black people, and especially Black men and boys, have been deranged for the past five hundred years.

This is not to say that we’ve been hopeless. Throughout the years we have been blessed with remarkable storytellers: Jupiter Hammon Olaudah Equiano, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman , Phyllis Wheatley, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Nicolas Guillen Gwendolyn Brooks , Aime Cesaire Louise Bennett Toni Morrison, Maryse Conde, Lorna Goodison, bell hooks, Octavia Butler, Jamaica Kincaid, Orlando Patterson, Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna Goodison, Bob Marley, and 2Pac.

But as great and grand as the stories that these men and women have written, they have not told my story. There are many similarities between their stories and mine, but the telling of a story sometimes depends on the “how.” And how I tell my stories is very different from many of these writers from whom I’ve learned my craft. For although there have been moments when I have sat at my desk, "Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope," I realize that I have my own story to tell and I’ve tried to tell them in my books: Benjamin, my son, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien, Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories and my latest collection, Who’s Your Daddy?: And Other Stories. As you can see from the titles of my books, the themes of fatherhood, father surrogates, father-son dialogues, and mentoring—which are some of the themes in Reaching up for Manhood—feature prominently in my imagination. For better or worse, these are the stories I tell and they are mine.

But this is only a half of the narrative. As a teacher of composition and creative writing, my first duty is to bring a high sense of integrity to my craft. (And as many of my students and Joe McNair will attest, my favorite quote is from Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”) So my students always know from the first day of class that I will be asking them to tell me their stories. They soon come to learn that I don’t want stories that they think I’d want to hear, but that I want the stories about how they got here to Miami Dade College, about how they and I ended up in the same classroom--breathing the same air and sharing the same space. In demanding this kind of self-scrutiny, I am modeling the behaviors that I would like to see in my work and in my students, so that they in turn will exhibit the kind of authenticity that I seek in life and art.

This is easier said than done. For to be truly original takes courage. Sometimes this courage takes the form of disagreeing with your teacher. Sometimes it takes the form of humility—that as a teacher, you don’t have all the answers.

But this is what speaking our truth and telling our stories is all about. Yet we must always bear in mind that we are not entitled to anything—not even to have people listen to us or to buy our books. And this should leave us with sense of gratitude when we are shown kindnesses of book sales or to be invited to gatherings like these.

For in the end, all we can do is tell our stories and sing for ourselves. Sing in the darkness. Sing in the light. Just sing.


Text of a panel discussion at the 3rd African American Read-In: Reaching up for Manhood by Geoffrey Canada. Monday, February 2, 2009. 10:00 am to noon at the Lehman Theater, Building 5, Miami Dade College, North Campus.

The Panel discussion will be accessible via web stream www.mdc.edu/north/live

February 1, 2009

Inaugural Issue of tongues of the ocean

tongues of the ocean

The inaugural issue of tongues of the ocean is now live, and the first two poems of the issue may be viewed at http://tonguesoftheocean.org/

This issue features

An interview, conducted by Nigel Beale, with Derek Walcott.

Written and spoken word poetry by
Ian Gregory Strachan (Bahamas), Nic Sebastian (USA), Obediah Michael Smith (Bahamas), Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad and Tobago), Vladimir Lucien (St. Lucia), Janice Lynn Mather (Bahamas), Amielle Major (Bahamas), Nicholas Laughlin (Trinidad and Tobago), Ward Minnis (Bahamas), Sheila Brooke (Canada), Sonia Farmer (Bahamas), Tim Tomlinson (USA), Charles Huggins (Nevis/Bahamas), Muhammad Muwakil (Trinidad and Tobago), Ishmael Andrew Smith (Bahamas) Geoffrey Philp (Jamaica/USA), Keisha Lynne Ellis (Bahamas), and others.

Marion Bethel is the featured poet.

Cover art by Eric Rose

Return every Sunday to see two more new poems.
The next issue goes live in June 2009.