And in a way it was. I reunited with my cousin, Jennifer Lumley (Mind Shaper), Jabez, Andrene Bonner (Olympic Gardens, Mevyn Taylor (An Island of His Own) and Richard Grayson, (With Hitler in New York), who has written a generous review of the event:
“Geoffrey is as skillful a public reader as he is a writer, and he kept things moving, reading only three recent poems from his forthcoming poetry book, including the fine "A Prayer for My Children" and a wonderful poem ‘in memory of the New York firefighters’”
Charmaine Hamilton-Valere of Signifying Guyana. As a preview of the event, Charmaine had written a review of Who’s Your Daddy? (which I only read today), and it was a big relief when I found her to be as charming as her online persona. It’s always very uncomfortable when I meet a writer whose work I admire, but in real life they are spiritually draining. The exchange of ideas between us and the audience was truly gratifying. Charmaine shared her ideas about Caribbean writing and ended the program with a poem (I hope she publishes it--she did!) about her experience as a reader and blogger.
Give thanks (again) to E. Wayne, Anton and the Caribbean Cultural team for hosting the event and for the invitation, which gave me the opportunity on the following day to reunite my old teacher, friend, mentor, and Caribbean griot, Kamau Brathwaite at NYU.
***Photo Source: Geoffrey Philp and Charmaine Hamilton Valere (Who Will Kiss the Pig)