Poets & Passion, the Caribbean Cultural Theatre monthly celebration of the work of Caribbean writers, continues its fifth season Downtown Brooklyn and initiates its newest platform in the Bronx.
Wednesday, November 10 launches the program’s Bronx, NY platform as a co-production with the Jamaica Progressive League, one of the oldest Jamaican support organizations in the United States. This monthly after-work mix of readings, discussion and open mic performances will showcase Caribbean writers who are not only critically acclaimed but are also extensively involved in the social fabric of their communities. The program begins at 7pm at the Karl & Faye Rodney Resource Center, 2230 Light Street (corner Dyre Avenue). The première event writers are Jamaican born community activists Sadie Aarons-Campbell and Cynthia Howell-Richards, co-authors of the folk tale collection Cotton Tree; spoken word artist Paul Shaw, who funds after school initiatives in her native Jamaica; co-founder of an orphanage in Haiti, poet Yolaine St. Fort; and winner of the 2010 Rona Jaffe Award for fiction, Tiphanie Yanique who runs a writers’ summer camp for teenagers in the Virgin Islands.
The following evening, Thursday, November 11 at 7pm, Poets & Passion heads to its regular Brooklyn stage at St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street (between Clinton and Court Streets). This month’s program features poet and visual artist, Cheryl Boyce Taylor with poet, recording artist, and screenwriter, Everton Sylvester. The Trinidad-born and Queens, New York-bred Boyce Taylor is the author of Convincing the Body. Everton, born in Jamaica and long-time Brooklyn resident, is the author of the collection of poems Backyard in Bed-Stuy. Both writers are featured in the Calabash Literary Festival’s tenth anniversary anthology, So Much Things To Say.
Initiated as a platform for Caribbean-American creative writers to present their work and network, Poets & Passion has evolved into a curious mix literary salon featuring celebrated poets and novelists, emerging New York area talents, spoken work artists, and lovers of the written word. Now in its fifth season, this sharing of creativity, experience and insight has seen such renowned talents as poets Kamau Braithwaite (Barbados), Merle Collins (Grenada) and Linton Kwesi Johnson (UK), novelists E.R. Braithwaite (Guyana), and social commentator Beverly Anderson-Manley (Jamaica). Upcoming sessions will see Trinidardian, Elizabeth Nunez and Andrene Bonner, from Jamaica on December 8 in the Bronx, and Bahamian, Christian Campbell and Jacinth Henry-Martin from St. Kitts-Nevis on December 9 in Brooklyn.
The program is made possible in part with public resources from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and Material for the Arts, with additional support from Akashic Book Publishers, Graywolf Press, Jamaica Progressive League, Poets & Writers, Inc., St. Francis College – Office of Community Relations and Friends of Caribbean Cultural Theatre.