You can read the poems here(Ocho #26) or you can buy the Print Companion here: CreateSpace--MiPOesias Print Companion
Either way, enjoy the poems and have a great weekend!
What is the origin of the symbol?
Should I learn more?
How has the meaning of the symbol changed over time?
Which other writers have used this symbol? How have they used this symbol?
What are the religious, intellectual, and cultural connotations?
Is the symbol relevant to the poem? Why?
Does the symbol grow organically from the poem?
Why does the symbol appeal to me?
How is the symbol re-imagined in my poem?
this morning i could have sworn i saw oshun
rise out of the water – “she who makes her people one.”
i needed to see her this morning after james byrd junior,
my brother, was dragged to death by a truck in jasper,
texas; for i need to believe this morning – i don’t want
to be a tongueless bell – i don’t want to be burnt
up like a useless limb by my own simmering hate.
oshun, guardian of our dreams and our spirit,
lover of our dark hands, dark bodies, dark skin--
healer of wounds made by our enemies and our weapons
aimed at ourselves--my sister, protect us in this dread
hour until anger passes – wash your coolness over my head.
In the Caribbean you’re more likely to wake up one day in summer and find it snowing than find a writer or poet who believes that the way to get ahead in the book trade and the literary field is to look to the governments for support. That’s no surprise considering the number of aspiring writers who, over the years, have felt compelled to leave their homeland in despair for the greener pastures of the USA, Canada and the UK.
A Celebration of Two Jamaican Icons
18501 NW 7th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33169-4441
October 29, 2009 @ 7:00 p.m.
And what does this 350 number even mean?
350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in "Parts Per Million" in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it's the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.
If we're already past 350, are we all doomed?
No. We're like the patient that goes to the doctor and learns he's overweight, or his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he's at more risk for heart attack or stroke. The planet is in its danger zone because we've poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we're starting to see signs of real trouble: melting ice caps, rapidly spreading drought. We need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
7:00pm - 10:00pm
St. John's on the Lake
4760 Pinetree Drive
Miami Beach, FL
The Daily News Prize for best poetry ($300)
The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for best short fiction ($400)
The David Hough Literary Prize to a Caribbean author($500)
The Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize to a Virgin Island author($200)
The Charlotte & Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication ($250)
The Caribbean Writer
University of the Virgin Islands
RR 01, Box 10,000
Kingshill, St. Croix VI 00850
Next Deadline for submissions - November 30, 2009
“But I think the activity of rap is a very healthy thing. I think if young writers are trying to rhyme, which is what they’re doing, it’s like a formal protest, in terms of composition.”
“It startled me, when rap came around, because you might have expected that protest would go in a different direction, in a form of violence. And the shape the revolution took was a surprising shape, in symmetry of language, in rhyme and rhythm.”
In fact, Walcott sees intriguing parallels between the social commentary of contemporary rap artists and the social satire of 18th century poets like Alexander Pope or John Dryden.
“You have to rhyme with rap. You’re doing the same thing as a heroic couplet, with the addition of doing it to music. Certain things fulfil themselves because they’re human instincts. Why should satire be in heroic couplets, in rap, as much as in Alexander Pope? Because the couplet summarizes, it emphasizes, it economizes.”
” Da da, da da, da da, da da, da dat/Da da, da da, da da, da da, da dat,” he chants. “That’s a natural couplet instinct, to criticize anything, because of the rhyme.”
After being conferred with the highest honour issued at yesterday's National Honours and Awards Ceremony, literary giant, The Honourable Professor Mervyn Morris, called for more recognition to be given to distinguished service in the arena of the arts.
Professor Morris, who was appointed a member of the elite Order of Merit for distinguished contribution to the field of West Indian literature, told The Gleaner he hoped that being appointed to the Order of Merit will shine the national spotlight on other individuals who have excelled in the arts, especially in the fields of literature and culture.
"It would be nice to see more awards going to the arts, culture in general, because there (are) many contributions that could be recognised."
He added: "I hope that literature and the arts will be increasingly noticed for an award of this kind," he said.
In the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean there is an estimated population of 5,444,762 (CIA World Factbook 2009 estimates). The Jamaican population in New York alone is estimated at 439,400 www.nyu.edu/jamaicans. Add to that the Afro-Caribbean population in the UK estimated to be over 400,000 www.mind.org.uk/help/people; and the 783,795 people in Canada who are identified as black (2006 Census by Statistics Canada; www.eng.fju.tu/worldlit/caribbean) Altogether you come up with a population of 7,357,357 people who are overwhelmingly of Caribbean descent. This figure does not include people of Caribbean descent throughout the USA, Africans and African-Americans in the US, the African population in the UK, and Caribbean people of Indian descent in Canada. That seems quite a sizeable pool for Caribbean publishers and writers to try casting their net. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
The good news is that there is a powerful new realm of opportunity that has opened up to the literary world. It’s the Worldwide Web and it offers writers some amazing tools; Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, online bookshops and virtually-free online publishing platforms, electronic book readers, (including the iPhone), book-review and promotion blogs and websites, online book clubs, Skype software that enables users to make low-cost international video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users, print on demand (POD) publishing, viral marketing, and that’s just to name a few.
To connect Tech-savvy consumers via Twitter and other social media to Tech-savvy Creators.
Make it as easy as possible for Non-Tech Savvy Creators to become Tech Savvy Creators
Educate and make it as easy as possible for Non-Tech Savvy Consumers to interface with Tech-Savvy Creators.
You can build a network (which can take many forms--natural monopolies are organizations where the market is better off when there's only one of you).
You can build a brand (shorthand for relationships, beliefs, trust, permission, and word of mouth)
You can create a constantly innovating organization where extraordinary employees thrive.
If a writer, or any other artist, is not focused on what is before him—which is how I see what you refer to as hedonism—and doesn’t reflect this in the work, then he, or she, may be a philosopher or an editorialist, but not an artist. The immediacy of a work of art is what gives it lasting life. It is a paradox, of course, which is to say a life-giving contradiction, the opposite of a solvable mystery. And when one focuses the thoughtful mind on what is there before us, what is immanent, then a sense of loss hazes in, ineluctably. For that idea-generating surrender to the immanent must pass, and quickly. The trick is to enshrine that surrender in the work, so others can experience it inexhaustibly. That is the function of art—not self-expression, not social commentary, not innovating on or reacting to what other artists have done. To defy the temporal, the flux, art enshrines.[More...]
"Caribbean writers are facing a dilemma. The region is blessed with numerous poets and novelists whose work has thrilled readers over the years.
But if you speak to many booklovers in and outside of the Caribbean, or check out some online message boards where the topic of discussion is Caribbean literature, you’ll find people bewailing how difficult it is to find good books by Caribbean writers, whether it’s in the region itself or in the metropolitan markets."
the pace at which the ice sheets and glaciers are melting is downright scary to frightening…If the predictions being made are correct, then all of us in Jamaica and the Caribbean need to heed the warnings….We also need to set up a scientifically driven early warning and watchdog system to check and monitor the effects of rising sea levels, caused by increasing temperatures due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) being released into the atmosphere by the human race.
If a 10-ft rise should occur, then Port Royal, the Cays, Palisadoes Road, and Norman Manley Airport.
In short, planetary meltdown will result in economic, physical and social chaos, and human tragedy will be unprecedented in Jamaica's history, as every aspect of life will be affected - communications, fishing, food supplies, health, insurance, industry, power generation (if we still depend on oil), transportation, and so on.
Even now sections of the existing road surface are almost covered at high tide. Elsewhere in the island, all coastal sections less than 10 feet in height above the high tide mark will be inundated by the sea, including sections of coastal highways, beaches, hotels and other buildings, low-lying swamps, mangroves, Black River Morass, Negril Morass, and the Montego Bay International airport, to name a few: groundwater tables will rise, and weather patterns will change.
We need to stay informed. And we need to ensure that any and all proposed development projects be carefully scrutinised, assessed and evaluated (especially those planned in coastal regions) by all concerned, be they architects, bankers, contractors, developers, engineers, or politicians, because global changes are occurring that we in Jamaica have little control over. It is a scary prospect, indeed!