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Caribbean Writers Celebrate Voice Of Independence

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A Caribbean tradition returns to the Downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College on Friday, September 21 at 7:30pm. Poets & Passion – A Caribbean Literary Lime, the monthly mix of literary salon with critically acclaimed and emerging writers, is back for its 7th season with a phenomenal lineup.


The program features an intergenerational panel of novelists, Earl Lovelace (Trinidad & Tobago), Is Just a Movie, andChristopher John Farley (Jamaica), Kingston Noir and poets, David Mills (USA/Jamaica), Jubilation, and Samantha Thornhill (Trinidad & Tobago), Seventeen Seasons, exploring the various influences of migration, gender, economics and language on their work, and the Caribbean writing generally.


Headlining the program is novelist, playwright and university lecturer, Earl Lovelace. Born in the Trinidad and Tobago village of Toco and has lived most of his life on the islands of, Lovelace holds degrees from Howard and Johns Hopkins universities and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His books include While Gods Are Falling, winner of the BP Independence Award, The Dragon Can’t Dance, Salt, the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize winner, and Is Just a Movie, which has 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, New York. The Harvard educated Wall Street Journal journalist co-wrote and co-edited the book The Blues (Harper Collins) the companion volume to Martin Scorsese’s PBS documentary series.


New York City born poet, with roots in both the American South and Jamaica, David Mills is a Queens Poet Laureate Finalist (2010). The Yale University alum has received numerous awards for his poetry including the PALF Award to travel Ghana, West Africa and the Soros Fellowship to write poems about the Holocaust in Poland. Samantha 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 September 21 program is a Brooklyn Book Festival – Bookend Event and is dedicated to the memory Trinidadian novelist, Rosa Guy and the centenary of Jamaican-born poet, Claude McKay’s debut publication, Songs of Jamaica (1912). Ms. Guy, who would have had her 90th birthday on September 1, was an acclaimed writer of work for younger readers and the inspiration behind the Broadway Musical, Once on the Island. Mr. McKay, an intrepid traveler and a seminal literary figure during the Harlem Renascence of the early 20th century, was born September 15, 1890.


A project of the Brooklyn, NY-based Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Poets & Passion – A Caribbean Literary Lime with its mix of scheduled readings, open mic performances and ol’ talk, 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 series is presented with the support of Brooklyn Arts Council (Community Arts Fund), Caribbean Research Center – Medgar Evers College (CUNY), Mosaic Literary Magazine, Poets & Writers (New York State Council on the Arts), St. Francis College – Office of Special Events.


Caribbean Cultural Theatre is a theatrical immersion experience presenting the work of Caribbean based and/or influenced writers, performers and other practitioners that both entertains and enlightens and honours a balanced rendering of Caribbean culture and the Caribbean-American experience.


The Downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street (bet. Clinton & Court Sts.), Brooklyn, NY is conveniently served by subway: 2, 3, 4; R – Borough Hall/Court St; A, C; F – Jay St /Metro Tech, and bus lines B25, B26, B38, B41; B52.

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