With this post, we shout out (somewhat belatedly) Caribbean author, St. Lucian Kendel Hyppolyte. His seventh collection, Word Planting, comes via Peepal Tree Press.
“He is quite simply amongst the very best of Caribbean poets who warrant an international reputation. Kendel Hippolyte’s poetry moves easily, boldly between the worlds of public engagement and the intimacies of domesticity. What unites this movement are the distinctive sounds and rhythms of his voice, and whilst some poems have a named recipient, and some are addressed to himself, all engage the reader in an implicit dialogue.”
In addition to being an award winning poet, Kendel is also a celebrated playwright, director, and anthologist.
I like origins stories and a desire to share a quote from Kendel, from a recent interview, in which he discussed his origins as a writer, among other things, prompted this post. Here it is:
“I was a shy child and having to go and stand in front of a class and read something, especially something personal like that – horror! But disobeying the teacher was out of the question so i somehow reached the front of the class with my exercise book and i read the poem. (A very attentive audience, my memory tells me, but no doubt attentive for reasons other than the pleasure of poetry.) i finished reading … And the class burst into spontaneous applause! Not a bad introduction to the world of composing poetry and performing it.” Read the full interview here.
Oh and I’m not trying to hog his spotlight but the only picture I have of Kendel is this one from the Caribbean Congress of Writers event in Guadeloupe.
As with all content on Wadadli Pen, unless otherwise indicated, this is written by author and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse. All rights reserved.