Tag Archives: St. Lucian

Mailbox – St. Lucia committed to cultural curation

I have to say St. Lucia is doing amazing work in the area of research and documentation. Earlier this year, I read and blogged Saint Lucian Literature and Theatre: an Anthology of Reviews compiled and edited by John Robert Lee and Kendel Hippolyte. Earlier still,  I skimmed and blogged The Bibliography of St. Lucian Creative Writing Poetry, Prose, Drama by St. Lucian Writers 1948 – 2013 compiled and edited by John Robert Lee with assistance from Anna Weekes. You may also recognize John Robert Lee’s name as the author of Discovering Caribbean Literature in English: a Select Bibliography, which is archived on this site and was for years its most viewed/used resource. It’s worth noting that Lee, in addition to being a respected poet in his own right, does a lot behind the scenes to keep the Caribbean literary arts networked – keeping those of us in the network informed about significant developments in our field. It’s also worth noting that there is public and private sector buy-in to what he’s doing as far as research and development is concerned. For instance, this new collection (another John Robert Lee production), news of which has landed in my inbox, is “made possible by the generous financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Jubilee Trust Fund and FLOW….and printed by the National Printing Corporation.” I don’t believe that’s insignificant.

Here’s the release re the new book in full.

Mount Pleasant - full cover

To celebrate the 70th birthday of Msgr. Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony, a number of commemorative events have been held, including the renaming of the Folk Research Centre to the “Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre.”

The FRC has also published a book of selected essays on St. Lucian culture in honour of its founder. The FRC was formally opened in 1973.

The book is titled The Road to Mount Pleasant, and is compiled and edited by John Robert Lee, St. Lucian writer, who is the FRC’s Publications Editor and Embert Charles, the first Executive Director of the FRC.

Its publication is made possible by the generous financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Jubilee Trust Fund and FLOW. It is designed by Viannie Aimable and printed by the National Printing Corporation.

In his introduction, Embert Charles writes that:

“The articulation of the issues of dynamism and goals of development in the St. Lucian National Cultural Policy mirrored the initial objectives of the Folk Research Centre which was established in 1973, soon after the ordination of Patrick Angus Butcher “Paba” Anthony into the Catholic priesthood. It was no coincidence that the Folk Research Centre and to some extent Paba himself were involved in the development of the policy, but importantly have been engaged very actively in research, documentation and promotion of Saint Lucian culture.  He celebrated his 70th birthday on August 6th 2017 and the publication of this collection of essays is a tribute to his life as cultural missionary and the embodiment of the project towards building of a Caribbean civilization. The collection, which by no means is presented as a comprehensive study of Saint Lucian culture, does attempt to provide some facts and thoughts on the various aspects of the traditional and contemporary life of the Saint Lucian people.”

The contributors are all well-known and recognized for their contribution to the research and documentation of Saint Lucian culture. They are: Msgr. Patrick A.B. Anthony himself, Lindy Ann Alexander, George ‘Fish’ Alphonse, Embert Charles, McDonald Dixon, George Goddard, Kendel Hippolyte, Alcess Ismael, Dr. Kentry JnPierre, Marcian W.E. Jean-Pierre, Dr. Didacus Jules, John Robert Lee, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Vladimir Lucien, Dr. Anthea Octave, Professor Gordon Rohlehr, Kennedy Samuel, Harold Simmons 1914-1966, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Professor Karl R. Wernhart.
The subjects range from essays by Msgr. Anthony on the role of culture, the Kèlè ceremony, Popular Catholicism and the art work of the late Sir Dunstan St. Omer – to researched writing by other writers on culture and development, the Kwéyòl language, Jounen Kwéyòl, the Flower Festivals, St. Lucian folklore, St. Lucian calypso. As well, a number of St. Lucian poets are included, with poems in English and Kwéyòl.

The cover illustration is titled “Mr. Wo-Wo” and is the work of the late artist and cultural hero Dunstan St. Omer (1927-2015).

FRC’s Executive Director Hilary La Force believes that this latest FRC publication will be a valuable information, study and research source for students, researchers and visitors who are desirous of learning more about various aspects of Saint Lucian culture. Ms. Floreta Nicholas, Chairperson of the FRC, writes in the book’s Foreword, “My hope is that this handbook to Saint Lucian Culture, recording as it does, “The Road to Mount Pleasant,” the home of the FRC and all it represents, would become required reading for all interested in our life and culture, and above all, for our young Saint Lucians.”

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.




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Peepal Tree Press has announced its publication of a new novel by Garth St. Omer (written several years ago). Titled: Prismns.

“Eugene Coard is woken one morning by a phone call to report the murder of a former St Lucian friend. It throws him back to memories of their island days, and his complicated love life in London that made necessary his relocation to the USA. Thoughts about his friend’s metamorphosis from middle-class “CB” to criminal, ghetto-dwelling “Red” provoke Eugene to review his own so far profitable transformations. But just how much of Eugene’s story can we believe? His confessions reveal him as probably the most unreliable and devious narrator in Caribbean fiction; has he, as a writer and psychiatrist, been exploiting the confusions of race in the USA to his own advantage?

With nods to Ellison’s Invisible Man and a witty inversion of Saul Bellow’s Sammler’s Planet , Prismns is a dark comedy about the masks people wear in a racially divided society that anticipates the metafictions of a writer such as Percival Everett. In the shape-shifting figure of Eugene Coard, Garth St Omer has created a character whose admissions will bring the reader shocked and horrified delight. Prismns was written in the 1980s but perhaps because it was so ahead of its time, not published until now.

Garth St Omer was born in St Lucia in 1931. He is the author of four previous novels and a novella, mainly set in St Lucia and published between 1964-1972. Until his retirement as Emeritus Professor, he taught for many years at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Garth St Omer was born in Castries, St Lucia in 1931. During the earlier 1950s St Omer was part of a group of artists in St Lucia including Roderick and Derek Walcott and the artist Dunstan St Omer.” – Peepal Tree Press blurb.

Thanks to John Robert Lee, author of Discovering Caribbean Literature in English: a Select Bibliography, one of the more popular features on this site, for sharing this.

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