Caribbean writers celebrate voice of independence
10/2/2012, 4:34 p.m.
A Caribbean tradition returns to the downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. "Poets & Passion: A Caribbean Literary Lime," the literary salon with critically acclaimed and emerging writers, is back for its seventh season with a phenomenal lineup.
The program features novelists Earl Lovelace and Christopher John Farley plus poets David Mills and Samantha Thornhill exploring the various influences of migration, gender, economics and language on their work, and Caribbean writing generally.
Headlining the program is novelist, playwright and university lecturer Lovelace. Born in a small village in the islands, he now holds degrees from Howard and Johns Hopkins universities and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His books include "While Gods Are Falling," "The Dragon Can't Dance," "Salt" and "Is Just a Movie," which won the grand prize for Caribbean Literature (Guadeloupe) and the Bocas Prize for Literature (Trinidad & Tobago).
Christopher John Farley, who penned the biography "Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley," which is featured in the soundtrack booklet to the documentary "Marley," was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Brockport, N.Y. The Harvard-educated Wall Street Journal journalist co-wrote and co-edited the book "The Blues," the companion volume to Martin Scorsese's PBS documentary series.
New York City-born poet Mills is a Yale University alum who has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the PALF Award to travel to Ghana, West Africa, and the Soros Fellowship to write poems about the Holocaust in Poland.
Thornhill, a rising voice in the world of words, crisscrosses the globe performing poetry, delivering lectures and facilitating writing workshops. She is a poetry professor at the Juilliard School, and her young-adult novel "Seventeen Seasons" is soon to be published by Penguin Books.
The Sept. 21 program is a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event and is dedicated to the memory of Trinidadian novelist Rosa Guy and the centenary of Jamaican-born poet Claude McKay's debut publication, "Songs of Jamaica" (1912). Guy, who would have had her 90th birthday on Sept. 1, was an acclaimed writer of work for younger readers and the inspiration behind the Broadway musical "Once on This Island." McKay, an intrepid traveler and seminal literary figure during the Harlem Renaissance, was born Sept. 15, 1890.
A project of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean Cultural Theatre, "Literary Lime," with its mix of scheduled readings, open mic performances and socializing, provides inviting opportunities for audiences to engage Caribbean and Caribbean-American fiction writers and poets, and positions the artists' work as part of a larger conversation on issues of identity, aspiration, heritage and the immigrant experience.
The downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College, 182 Remsen St., is conveniently served by numerous subway and bus lines. For more information and reservations, call 718-783-8345 or 718-270-6218 or visit http://bit.ly/OscuKf.