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New York Caribbean Writers Series Ends Stellar Year With Four Award Winning Writers

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Poets & Passion, the literary series and open mic sessions featuring Caribbean writers, ends the year with readings by novelists Andrene Bonner (Jamaica) and Elizabeth Nunez (Trinidad & Tobago) in the Bronx on Wednesday, December 8 and poets Christian Campbell (Bahamas/Trinidad & Tobago) and Jacinth Henry-Martin (St. Kitts-Nevis) on Thursday, December 9 in Brooklyn. 

With these four award-winning writers, this year the series would have featured 23 novelists, poets, spoken word artists, folklorists, cultural critics and bloggers, representing 11 countries; doing work in Dutch, English, French and derivative creoles. The programs, conducted in venues as diverse as college campuses, community centers and City Hall, took place over 17 sessions in all 5 boroughs of New York City.

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 second program in the inaugural season in the Bronx, takes place on Wednesday, December 8 beginning at 7pm at the Karl & Faye Rodney Resource Center, 2230 Light Street (corner Dyre Ave.).  Featured writers will be Andrene Bonner, Olympic Gardens and Elizabeth Nunez, Anna In-Between.   

Ms. Bonner is an accomplished poet, actress, singer, folk life specialist and educator in the Mt Vernon School District, in Westchester County, NY.  Her debut novel, Olympic Gardens garnered her the Lorna Goodison Caribbean Award for Transformative Literature in 2009.   Dr.  Nunez is an award-winning author of seven novels, including Prospero’s Daughter (New York Times Editors’ Choice; 2006 Novel of the Year, Black Issues Book Review) and Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award). Prospero’s Daughter also has the distinction of being selected for the One Book, One Community national reading project in her native Trinidad & Tobago. She is executive producer of the NY Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series Black Writers in America, and cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference.

The Thursday, December 9 program takes place at the Downtown Brooklyn campus of St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street (between Clinton & Court Streets).  Featured writers will be poet Christian Campbell and spoken word artist Jacinth Henry-Martin.  The program begins at 7pm.

Dr. Campbell, who claims roots from the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago, is a Rhodes Scholar and an assistant professor of English at the University of Toronto.  A fellow of New York’s Cave Canem Foundation, he is the recipient of Britain’s prestigious 2010 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival best first collection prize for his debut anthology, Running the Dust.  Ms. Henry-Martin, is the author of the poetry anthology Dancing In Bondage. She has served as the Federal Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports, in the St Kitts-Nevis Government and Deputy High Commissioner from St Kitts-Nevis to the United Kingdom.

For reservations and information contact: (718) 783-8345 or (718) 994-5496.

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 creativity, experience and insight has featured such renowned literary luminaries as poets Kamau Braithwaite (Barbados), Merle Collins (Grenada) and Linton Kwesi Johnson (UK), and novelists E.R. Braithwaite (Guyana), and Anthony Winkler (Jamaica), as well as rising stars such as  Marlon James (Jamaica), The Book of Night Women; Anton Nimblet (Trinidad & Tobago), Sections of an Orange; Yolaine St. Fort (Haiti), From the Crown of Your Heads; and Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands), How to Escape from a Leper Colony.

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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