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More, by Austin Clarke

Thursday, 07 July 2011 13:40 Published in Literature

How do we give a voice to those on the margins? We must, first, find their voice – for every human has a voice. We can wander into their world, into shops or up into high-rise flats, to listen out for conversation. Yet, what if we are talking of the furthest margins - those who are so isolated and harried as to barely have conversation?

Édouard Glissant and the Archipelago of the World

Sunday, 13 March 2011 21:23 Published in Literature

Born in Sainte-Marie, Martinique on September 21, 1928, Édouard Glissant, was part of a pivotal generation in the development of French Caribbean thought in the XX century – a generation that included Franz Fanon, that overlapped with that of Aimé Césaire and that set the scene for the emergence of contemporary figures, such as Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphael Confiant.


Alejo Carpentier

Sunday, 26 December 2010 18:12 Published in Literature

Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 – April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous "boom" period. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Carpentier grew up in Havana, Cuba; and despite his European birthplace, Carpentier strongly self-identified as Cuban throughout his life.

Kamau Brathwaite

Sunday, 26 December 2010 14:21 Published in Literature

Lawson Edward ‘Kamau’ Brathwaite was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, in 1930. He studied at Harrison College in Barbados before attending Cambridge University on a scholarship. He attained his BA in History in 1953 from Pembroke College and continued studying to get his teacher’s certificate one year later.

Édouard Glissant

Sunday, 26 December 2010 12:46 Published in Literature

Édouard Glissant was born in Sainte-Marie, Martinique on September 21, 1928. He attended the best school on the island, Lycée Schoelcher, where fellow countryman Aimé Cesaire had previously studied and would later teach, and where Glissant’s contemporary, Frantz Fanon, would also be educated. He was 12 years old as WWII broke out in Europe and France was invaded by Germany. In 1946 he left Martinique for Paris, where he studied History and Philosophy at the Sorbonne University.

Within Caribbean literary circles, Kamau Brathwaite (née Lawson Edward Brathwaite, Bridgetown, Barbados, 1930) stands among the most important, influential, prolific and respected names, alongside, for instance, Derek Walcott and V S Naipaul and George Lamming – all members of the same remarkable generation of writers, who, quite suddenly, put Caribbean literature ‘on the map’ towards the end of the decade of the fifties and through the nineteen-sixties.

Texaco: Oil and Caribbean literature

Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:16 Published in Literature

When the world’s addiction to oil is so intimately tied to such seismic historical movements as the Iraq War, Deepwater Horizon and climate change, one may question its relativity to literature. But it is in no sense spurious. So, let’s pull away from the centripetal force of these world-historical moments briefly. For then we can detect in literary products from the highly-prized to the largely-forgotten the wholesale, yet quotidian, transformations of ways of life, cultures, and societies that is concurrent with the use of oil.

Aime Cesaire – in my memory are lagoons

Monday, 15 November 2010 01:32 Published in Literature

Aime Cesaire, black poet and politician, died in Martinique’s capital Fort-de-France on April 17 2008, far from his ancestral lands, and as a long-serving mayor of his adopted city.  There were petitions for him to be shipped back to France and buried in the company of great French poets and literary figures there.

M. NourbeSe Philip - Zong!

Sunday, 05 September 2010 10:40 Published in Literature

This conversation took place in Bridgetown, Barbados, during the 2010 Conference of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), 25-31 may 2010. M. NourbeSe Philip was born in Tobago, but has lived most of her life in Canada. Her path towards writing has gone through both her Politics and Law degrees, followed by several years practicing the profession of lawyer. Perhaps it was the easiness of her rhetoric, facilitated by this first career, that led M. NourbeSe Philip to approach creative writing with a sense of the oral  ‘root’ of the written word.

Three pieces of a Jamaican heart

Monday, 12 July 2010 20:13 Published in Literature

A Word on the Work:
I wrote this piece one morning after taking a taxi from Spanish Town to Kingston en route to the University of the West Indies. I don’t normally take public transportation so the experience was very shocking and disturbing. Jamaicans have a saying, made popular by Louise Bennett-Coverley. The saying is “tek kin teet kibba haat bun” which literally means “use your smile to conceal your heartache”.

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