An end of year roundup is always the most difficult because at the time of writing each post I always think: “This is the best post that I’ve ever written!” This year has also been challenging because of the publication of my book, Who's Your Daddy? And Other Stories, which I believe tells some interesting stories about the relationship of fathers and their children and provides a context for the discussion of fatherhood. Some of the stories are funny too.
Still, the exercise of writing a roundup is useful because it gives me the chance to review how my blog has evolved from merely being a chronicle of my experiences in the virtual, material, and literary worlds to a platform for writers to showcase their works and a space to discuss topics with which younger writers may be struggling.
The last point is very important to me because the issue of mentorship, especially in the Caribbean, is essential for the sustenance of a literary tradition. And although I cannot provide mentorship in the form of reading unpublished manuscripts, I can add to the conversation about subjects that are of interest to beginning writers: How to Use Allusions; How to Use Symbols, Am I a Writer? (Parts 1, 2, and 3).
I’ve also broken out of the mold on a few occasions to write about events that were not literary, but were of global significance: the Inauguration of Barack Obama, Blog Action Day, World AIDS Day, and World Press Freedom Day. I also noted the passing of Michael Jackson and two Caribbean writers, Trevor D. Rhone and Wayne Brown, as well as the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
There are many other posts that I could mention, but here's a list that I hope will give readers a taste of what to expect on my blog:
As a member of Read Write Poem, I took part in read write prompt #61: reveal your dialect with a poem from my latest manuscript, Dub Wise, which will be published next year by Peepal Tree Press.
February: I Love You.Three simple words. But they are the most difficult words to say to a friend or partner and especially within Black and Caribbean families. This became painfully clear to me as I sat on a panel to discuss Reaching up for Manhood by Geoffrey Canada
Giving thanks to the mentors in my life, but especially to Kamau Brathwaite.
A big thanks to Middle Zone Musing for helping me to gain perspective on the near cancellation of the Calabash Literary Festival and for exorcising some of the demons that have plagued my life.
Give thanks to Michelle for publishing this little poem that is fast becoming a reader favorite
A momentous month for me: reading at the Calabash International Literary Festival.
For travelling children everywhere.
It’s always good to get a little praise from readers.
September: “Riding the Big Destiny” by Adrian Castro.
South Florida and Caribbean poet, Adrian Castro, wrote about the release of his latest book of poems, Handling Destiny.
October: “Always Think It’s Bigger Than Me” Dr. Joe Leonard’s Visit to Miami Dade College, North Campus.It’s easy to become jaded about public servants, but Dr. Joe Leonard’s visit was not only inspirational for me, but also for our students who benefitted from his words and deeds. Dr. Leonard also lived up to his promise and returned on December 4, 2009.
Book reviewing is an area in which I’d love to expand the blog. But seeing as my blog is a one person operation, it is now sporadic. Any volunteers?
December: “Palimpsest” by Mervyn Morris.
It was a honor to publish this original poem by one of Jamaica’s finest poets.
Next year looks as if it’s going to be another great year of blogging and publishing. I can’t wait!
This ia part of a group write project @ Middle Zone Musings.
Words from flickr
Created by kastner