Battle of the Nobels: Walcott and Naipaul in a feud

Internationally acclaimed Caribbean authors Derek Walcott and VS Naipaul (both Nobel Prize winners) are engaged in an ugly, racially charged feud. That is unfortunately a headline out of this year's Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica, partly because Walcott chose it as a stage to premiere a seemingly vitriolic poem written in response to an earlier Naipaul attack.

The Caribbean Free Radio podcast has a blow by blow account as well as other highlights of the gathering, including an interview with Thomas Glave, author of a forthcoming anthology of Caribbean LBGT authors. The Jamaican Prime Minister's recent comment to the BBC that gays have no place in his administration is widely discussed.
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Nicholas Laughlin on Caribbean Literature

David Sasaki has a lovely interview with Trinidadian author Nicholas Laughlin. They are both at the Calabash literary festival in Jamaica right now and you can almost taste the sea salt. They are talking about Caribbean literature, imaginary roads, creoleness and it all makes you a bit nostalgic...

I'm embedding the video below but you can also just click here.

Nicholas blogs here and is the editor of the Caribbean Review of Books.

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A New Calypso Tribute to Barack

As seen on my friend Lolo's blog IES OUI KANE, there appears to be yet another calypso anthem to Barack. This new one is by Mac Lean Emmanuel and Stanley Humphreys from the group King Short Shirt and it's not so subtly titled Barack We Love You:

Recall Barack the Magnificent by the Mighty Sparrow which Mighty played as early as last year's West Indian Day parade on Eastern Parkway.

The Mighty Sparrow - Barack the Magnificent


Food riots and a wedding

Former Village Voice writer Gary Dauphin is probably one of the people whose writings about Haiti and Haitianness (not to mention Haitian-Americanness) move me the most. What I tend to like about his musings is his candor and nuance. He's just done it again in a piece for the Root weaving the recent food riots into his sister's wedding. We see the crisis through the eyes and stories of various relatives who have traveled from Haiti to the US to attend the wedding and even from the perspective of the uncle who didn't make it because of the riots. Well done.


Haiti Soleil

At fellow blogger Ferentz Lafargue's invitation, I just joined the Facebook group for a (new?) NGO named Haiti Soleil. I thought I'd share the group's mission with you :

Haiti Soleil is a nonprofit corporation based in Berkeley, California. Haiti Soleil is founded on the belief that to bring about social change in Haiti, the country needs to empower young people by giving them access to safe nurturing spaces, and providing them with opportunities for intellectual exchange and creative expression.

We believe the potential of a society is fulfilled only when all its citizens have access to information. Haiti Soleil seeks to cultivate the intellectual growth of Haiti’s children so they will become self-sufficient, and responsible advocates for a just society.

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Kevin Powell wants your help in crafting his Caribbean policy

Kevin Powell happened to announce his run for Congressman of C.D. 10 where I live two blocks from my house at the FiveSpot last Sunday and I wanted to let you know that he is looking for your input on what his policy towards the Caribbean should be. Peppered with Spanish and Haitian Creole, his speech showed a desire to serve all interests and groups in the district and he specifically mentioned looking for perspectives on Haiti. So if you live in or around Congressional District 10 and have strong ideas about what his Caribbean policy should be, make sure to send him an email, call or go see him.

Just so you know, he is running for the Congressional seat that Ed Towns has now held for about 26 years! It'll be interesting to see if he is indeed able to unseat him but he hopes to try by energizing more voters than just the 2% who traditionally vote in congressional elections in the district. In the primary in New York, he endorsed Barack Obama while Ed Towns endorsed Hillary Clinton.
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