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International Poetry Festival Winner For Brooklyn Caribbean Writers Series, December 9, 2010

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Christian Campbell, winner of Britain’s 2010 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival best first collection prize, takes center stage at the next Poets & Passion program at St. Francis College on Thursday, December 9.  The program also features spoken word artist Jacinth Henry-Martin.  

After winning the prize for his debut book Running the Dusk , the Toronto resident declared “I am honoured to be a part of a moment of great energy and transformation in contemporary poetry”, adding: “It’s very, very difficult for any young poet, and for any Caribbean poet, to get this level of recognition.”

Campbell, who claims roots from the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago, is the most resent emerging Caribbean writer to be featured in the Caribbean Cultural Theatre produced series to have garnered major recognition over the past few months.  Jamaican, Marlon James, who opened the current season of the Downtown Brooklyn monthly series, copped the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for his second novel The Book of Night Women. Whilst Tphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands), who inaugurated the program’s Bronx platform, won the Rona Jaffe Award for her debut short story collection, How to Escape From a Leper Colony and was named National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35”, recognizing five young fiction writers.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Christian received a PhD at Duke University and is an assistant professor of English at the University of Toronto.  His poetry and essays have been published widely and his work has been translated into Spanish in the anthology Poetas del Caribe Ingles.  He is a fellow of New York’s Cave Canem Foundation.

Poets & Passion takes place on Thursday, December 9 at 7pm, at the Downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street (between Clinton and Court Streets).  

Also featured on the evening’s program will be St Kitts-Nevis national, Jacinth Henry-Martin. A seasoned performing artist and author of an anthology of poems entitled Dancing In Bondage, Jacinth has served in the St Kitts-Nevis Government as Federal Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports, and Deputy High Commissioner from St Kitts-Nevis to the United Kingdom.  Fluent in French and Spanish, she holds a MA in Technical and Specialized Translation from the University of Westminster, UK. 

Created as an outlet for Caribbean-American creative writers to present their work and network, Poets & Passion has evolved into a 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 the series has recently launched its second platform in the Bronx at the Karl & Faye Rodney Resource Center, 2230 Light Street.

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).  Other featured writers this season include novelists Andrene Bonner (Jamaica) and Elizabeth Nunez (Trinidad), poets Cheryl Boyce-Taylor (Trinidad) and Yolaine St. Fort (Haiti) and Jamaican spoken word artists Paul Shaw and Everton Sylvester.

Poets & Passion is a project of the Brooklyn, NY based Caribbean Cultural Theatre, a multi-disciplinary arts organization presenting work for the stage, screen and page that honours a balanced rendering of Caribbean culture and the Caribbean-American experience.  The series is supported 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 assistance from the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies, Bahamian American Cultural Society, Jamaica Progressive League, Poets & Writers, Inc., St. Francis College – Office of Community Relations and Friends of Caribbean Cultural Theatre. 

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Written by Staff Writer