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POETRY

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Poetry

Literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.
(Oxford University Press, 2018)

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  • National Poetry Day
  • Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago - Paul Keens Douglas
  • Poetic Excerpts & Bios
  • Spoken Word featuring Roots Foundation TT
  • Spoken Word Artists

National Poetry Day was first introduced by the late Anson Gonzalez (August 21, 1936 to September 6, 2015). Mr Gonzalez was a prominent poet, publisher and the first Poet Laureate of Port of Spain. National Poetry Day is celebrated on October 15, annually.

 

paul-keens-douglasThe Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago Programme is a national initiative run by the Circle of Poets of Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS).

Paul Keens-Douglas, who was born in Trinidad on September 22, 1942, was named Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago on October 15, 2017.  Mr Keens-Douglas spent his early childhood in Grenada where he attended the St. George’s Methodist School and later Presentation Boys College. Mr. Keens-Douglas has been writing and performing since 1974 and founded the Talk Tent in 1983 at Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain. Today, Talk Tent has become an integral part of Trinidad’s post-Carnival presentations, focusing on our oral literary tradition among other thing. Keens-Douglas is the author of several books of poetry and short-stories including Tanti at the Oval, Savannah Ghost, and Twice Upon A Time. His many awards include the Humming Bird Silver in the sphere of culture and the Zora Neale Hurston Award.

The Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago will serve a term of three years.

Learn more on the Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago, Paul Keens-Douglas by clicking on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7nxQeo047k

Poetic-JewelsMICHAEL ASHBY

Michael Ashby, in addition to being a poet, also produces greetings cards, bookmarks and coffee mugs etched with poems. He is inspired by life, love, spirituality and nature especially the Northern Range and the seaside. His work has been published by daily newspapers and he has also participated in exhibitions.

So stressful was I,

                          This day will always stand high,

                          As magnificent wonder was in full cry.

                         I sat by a spring, which was in full swing,

                              Gathering its waters in an enormous sink.

                                I felt its splendor as purity flowed,

                            May feet dangled in the water below.

                                I paused for a moment as I heard a sound.

                                And saw three birds perched,

                                As if to serenade me with a perfect song

Book: Poetic Jewels

Excerpt taken from:  In Touch With Nature

Call Number: WI 811.6 As

Source: Ashby, M. (2003). Poetic jewels. Port of Spain: Poetic Jewels.


pitch-lakeANDRE BAGOO

Andre Bagoo is a poet and writer. In addition to Pitch Lake which is his third book, he has also authored the books Trick Vessels and BURN. His poems have appeared in the journals: Almost Island, Boston Review, Cincinnati Review and St. Petersburg Review of Books. In 2017 he was awarded The Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize by The Caribbean Writer.

 

Even the beach is deceptive

       a piece of wood turns into a dolphin

a rock is really soft clay

      all things come undone at Redhead Bay

   I go, I go, I go, I go –

exploring a mile I’ll never know

                                                                                                                                                                                             

Book: Pitch Lake

Excerpt taken from: Redhead Bay, Cumana

Call Number: WI 811.6 Ba

Source: Bagoo, A. (2017). Pitch Lake. Leeds, U. K.: Peepal Tree Press.


a-pallete-for-passionEULAH BORDE

Eulah Borde is an entrepreneur who is internationally recognized as a development consultant. She is also an educator with experience as a newspaper columnist, politician, historical conservationist and mentor to Caribbean women. A Palette of Passions is her first collection of poems.

 

            To jaunty tunes of tiny birds

                                          Earth’s day relentlessly unfolds

                                           Sailing pelicans artfully swing

                                              And grace the theatre of dawn.

                                                 Then in the twinkling of an eye

                                        Shoots up the crimson sun and carves the pewter ocean deep,

                                          Mounts the patient sky with silent, brilliant majesty

                                                 And couples the horizon, audaciously.

 

Book: A Palette of Passions

Excerpt taken from:  Sunrise

Call Number: WI 811.6 Bo

Source: Borde, E. (2003). A palette of passions. Santa Cruz, Trinidad & Tobago: Possibilities Unlimited.


on-the-coastWAYNE BROWN

Wayne Brown’s book On the Coast (1973) was award the Commonwealth Prize for Poetry and also received a Poetry Book Society recommendation. His other works were Edna Manley: The Private Years (1976), Voyages (1989) which was another collection of poems, The Child of the Sea (1990) and Landscape with Heron (2000), the last two being a collection of short stories. He was a newspaper columnist and lectured in English Literature at the University of the West Indies, Mona and St. Augustine campuses and in the United States.

 

                                Rust stiffens the louvres, but we hook

                                 them open a crack for one more look

                                     at the ocean. Overhead, palms trees like hefted squid

                                      lean seaward, trailing their tentacles,

                                       useless in air.

 

Book: On the Coast: and other poems

Excerpt taken from:  Rampanalgas

Call Number: WI 811.54 Br

Source: Brown, W. (2010). On the coast: and other poems. Leeds, United Kingdom: Peepal Tree.

Peepal Tree Press. (n. d.). Wayne Brown. Retrieved from http://www.peepaltreepress.com/authors/wayne-brown


crossed-sunsIAN DIEFFENTHALLER

Ian Dieffenthaller grew up in San Fernando but was trained as an architect in the United Kingdom and acquired his PhD from the University of Birmingham. In addition to Crossed Suns, he is also the author of Snow on Sugarcane. He has written articles about West Indian poetry for the journals Wasafiri, PNR and Mango Season.

 

A painter at the water’s edge, dabs rainbow dabs

for flesh of hazy mountains; silver pins for trees.

And when I note these hills are barely visible,

he says that they’re as visible as summer’s breeze;

 

Book: Crossed Suns

Excerpt taken from: Summer

Call Number: WI 811.008 0972983 Di

Source: Dieffenthaller. I. (2009). Crossed suns. Royston, U.K.: Cane Arrow Press.


nuclear-seasonsRAMABAI ESPINET

Ramabai Espinet was born in Trinidad and resides in Canada. She writes poetry, fiction and essays. Her work has been featured in many journals and she is the editor of Creation Fire, an anthology of poems by Caribbean women. 

                                                                 Could only imagine

Panic, groping fingers

                         Her unborn child’s tears

                             The desperate climb

                           Away from the immigration

                            Hunter-man

 

About this poem – In 1979 Patrician Deanna, a young Caribbean woman fell to her death from a balcony in her bid to escape immigration officials after they broke down the door to an apartment where she was baby-sitting. She was pregnant at the time and in the country illegally.

Book: Nuclear Seasons

Excerpt taken from: For Patricia Deanna

Call Number: WI 811.54 Es

Source: Espinet, R. (1991). Nuclear seasons. Toronto: Sister Vision Press.


echo-of-bashoALEX DE VERTEUIL

Alex de Verteuil grew up in Trinidad but left in his late teens with family to live in the United Kingdom. Whilst there he became a journalist, then moved to France to work for an international oil service company. He returned to Trinidad in 1976. He has written poetry for as long as he can remember.

DAWN GLAISHER

Dawn Glaisher was born in San Fernando but moved to West Africa when she was eight because her father was transferred there as a colonial police officer. She eventually moved to the United Kingdom where she received a degree in Literature and Linguistics. In 1993 Dawn moved back to Tobago.

dry season deepens

  pale crescents scar the palm trunk

   where each branch fell

Book : Echō of Bashō: haiku voices of the Caribbean

Call Number: WI 811.6 Dev

Source: De Verteuil, A. & Glaisher, D. (2007). Echō of Bashō: haiku voices of the Caribbean. Bon Accord, Tobago: Chickichong Publishing.


passagesHELEN DRAYTON

Helen Drayton is a painter, poet, novelist, former Independent Senator in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament and had a decades-long career as a banking executive in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

                       Every house had a pot hound; mind you, not as a guard dog,

                                                because in those days thieves didn’t come into your house

                                                and steal things – well maybe mangos, oranges and

                                                   zabocas… Yes? All the houses had pink curtains of pink or

                                                 blue and even green, but mostly white or cream and looked

                                                  especially nice on Saturday morning when everyone was

                                                       outside washing the stairs, yard, drains and the road just in

                                                  front of their house.

 

Book: Passages: Selected poems

Excerpt taken from: Memories of Belmont

Call Number: WI 811.60972983 Dr

Source: Drayton, H. (2009). Passages: selected poems. Trinidad and Tobago: Morton Publishing.


emerald-journeyKAVITA VIDYA GANNESS

Emerald Journey is Kavita Vidya Ganness’s first collection of poems. She is also an English teacher and Songwriter. She is a member of the Writer’s Union of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

                  Ever since I was a child

                                          This song I would always hear –

                                            A song so sweet and pure

                                               That seemed to flow from everywhere.

                                              At the window I would find myself

                                                    Straining my eyes to see,

                                                     Wondering where was this Morning Bird –

                                                   Wondering if he was hiding from me.

 

Book: Emerald Journey

Excerpt taken from: The Morning Bird

Call Number: WI 811.6 Ga

Source: Ganness, K. V. (2007). Emerald journey. Diego Martin, Trinidad & Tobago: The New Voices.


collected-poemsANSON GONZALEZ

Anson Gonzalez is one of the most prominent poets in Trinidad and Tobago. He began his career in the 1960s and his work has garnered many awards such as the Writers’ Union Writer of the Year Award (1988), a Lifetime Award from the Circle of Poets of T&T and the San Fernando Arts Council Award for Invaluable Contribution to Literary Arts (2008). In 2009 he was made Poet Laureate of Port of Spain.

He founded and published The New Voices, a literary journal in 1973 and the next year he established New Voices, a publishing imprint that catered to Caribbean writers. The New Voices Newsletter that he founded in 1981, provided information about writers, literary competition, grants and workshops to Caribbean writers.

 

                                                      aroma signaled scent

                                                      to tincture of home

                                                       poet versatile and generous

                                                   invites prodigal

                                                 to communion

                                                  eastern spices

                                                 poor Cristoforo sought

 

Book: Artefacts of presence: collected poems 1964 – 2000

Excerpt taken from:  Roti in Miami

Call Number: WI 811.54 Go

Source: Gonzalez, A. (2010). Artefacts of presence: collected poems 1964 – 2000. Leeds, U.K.: Peepal Tree.


decades-to-amaMARINA AMA OMOWALE MAXWELL

Marina Ama Omowale Maxwell is the founder of the Writers’ Union, Trinidad and The Yard Theatre. In addition to Decades to Ama, she has also authored Chopstix in Mauby. Marina has produced work in theatre and television and has been a lecturer for creative writing and communications.

                                         

                                In this cold ashen city I wear a brown glaze

and I am different and to be stared at.

The tubes are filled, the very air

     with people’s griefs, eyes vacant to the crowd,

      full of transients

 

Book: Decades to Ama

Excerpt taken from: London Keening

Call Number: WI 811.54 Ma

Source: Omowale Maxwell, M. A. (2005). Decades to Ama. Leeds, U.K.: Peepal Tree.


child-of-the-stormsKENNETH VIDIA PARMASAD

Child of the Storms: and other poems was the first collection of poems from Kenneth Vidia Parmasad. He is also the author of Salt and Roti, Kheesas: local Indian folktales and many other titles. He is considered a pioneer of children’s folktales in Trinidad. He was a full-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Béké the watchman

                                                                                 with the bastard eye

                                                                               who allowed no corruption

                                                                                         but his own

                                                                                 strutted about leather-red

                     under the fading crimson sun.

               In one hand he jingled

                 a bunch of keys

                         as he made his evening rounds

                                  in the other he carried a battered gun

                              salvaged from world war one.

                            His presence was the final touch

                         of a master painter’s brush

                            and the estate froze before my eyes

                          crude relic from a time long past.

 

Book: Child of the Storms: and other poems

Excerpt taken from: The Estate

Call Number: WI 811.54 Pa

Source: Parmasad, K. V. (1987). Child of storms: and other poems. Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago: The New Voices.


100-poems-from-tntJENNIFER RAHIM

Jennifer Rahim’s work includes Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists (1992), Between the Fence and the Forest (2007) and Approaching Sabbaths (2009) which won a Casa de las Américas Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals such as The Journal of West Indian Literature, The Trinidad and Tobago Review and MaComere.

 

Something is here, alive as breath

always reminds us of ourselves

while we labour and build,

growing too large for the castle

  of ourselves, forgetful of ourselves,

     it approaches as a pirogue

 

Book: 100 Poems from Trinidad & Tobago – edited by Ian Dieffenthaller and Anson Gonzalez

Excerpt taken from: Chatham

Call Number : WI 811.54 Pa

Source: Dieffenthaller, I. & Gonzalez, A. (Eds.). (2012). 100 poems from Trinidad & Tobago. Royston, United Kingdom: Cane Arrow Press.

Poetry Foundation (n. d.) Jennifer Rahim. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/jennifer-rahim


100-poems-from-tntSAM SELVON

Samuel Selvon was a prominent Trinidadian author. His work included A Brighter Sun (1952), The Lonely Londoners (1958), Moses Ascending (1975) and Highway in the Sun (1991) which is a collection of plays. The Book of Poems, a collection of his plays, was published posthumously in 2012 after being painstakingly collected by Roydon Salick.

 

The doc dead.

Who keep wake for he?

Anybody went to Woodford Square?

      And say a prayer for the poor man soul?

 Or everybody wondering

  What he left in the will for we!

Book: 100 Poems from Trinidad & Tobago – edited by Ian Dieffenthaller and  Anson Gonzalez       

Excerpt taken from: So the Doc Dead Eh

Call Number:  WI 811.54 Pa

Source: Dieffenthaller, I. & Gonzalez, A. (Eds.). (2012). 100 poems from Trinidad & Tobago. Royston, United Kingdom: Cane Arrow Press.

Samuel Selvon: Caribbean author. (2018). In Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Samuel-Selvon


100-poems-from-tntEINTOU PEARL SPRINGER

Eintou Pearl Springer is a poet, playwright, storyteller and actress. She is also a Librarian, who, in her tenure, conceptualized and spearheaded the formation of the Heritage Library Division of the National Library & Information System Authority. She was its first Director. She is a recipient of the Humming Bird Silver award for her contribution to the development art and culture in Trinidad and Tobago which included pioneering the Junior Best Village Competition. She was also awarded a Vanguard Cacique Award for her contribution to theatre.

 

                                                  Cicadas in mourning

                                          call

                                               across the darkening hill

                                                   lush green

                                                   pointing

                                                        to meet the

                                                     reddened yellow

                                                 sky

 

Book: 100 Poems from Trinidad & Tobago – edited by Ian Dieffenthaller and Anson Gonzalez

Excerpt taken from:  Sunset in Santa Cruz

Call Number: WI 811.54 Pa

Source: Dieffenthaller, I. & Gonzalez, A. (Eds.). (2012). 100 poems from Trinidad & Tobago. Royston, United Kingdom: Cane Arrow Press.

Culture Division -Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Art. (n. d.). Eintou Pearl Springer. Retrieved from http://www.culture.gov.tt/our-mentors/eintou-pearl-springer/


gone-awayMERVYN TAYLOR

Mervyn Taylor was born in Port of Spain but moved to the United States where he attended Howard University and the Columbia University School of the Arts. He then taught English and Creative Writing at the Bronx Community College and subsequent to that, in the New York Public School system. He is the author of six works of poetry which includes the aforementioned Gone Away as well as No Back Door, The Waving Gallery and Voices Carry. He has received the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence.

                                                        Four years turned into forty.

                                                           I missed my mother’s funeral,

                                                        the Black Power uprising,

                                                   the thighs of an old woman

                                                    that became a lifelong dream.

 

                                                       The mountains turned brown

                                                      and green that many times,

                                                      the savannah too. The lane

                                                        grew empty, while I searched

                                                      for love in the metropolis,

                                                       turning back at the borders

 

Book: Gone Away

Excerpt taken from: Gone Away

Call Number: WI 811.54 09 72983 Ta

Source: Taylor, M. (2006). Gone away. New York: Junction Press.


eye-love-myselfBILL TROTMAN

Bill Trotman is a calypsonian, dancer, artist, sculptor, poet, musician, composer and master of ceremonies. He counts as his influence, Geoffrey Holder. As an artist, he has nurtured his skill over several decades. Throughout the span of his career he has held six solo exhibitions and his work was featured in many joint exhibitions throughout the world.

As a dancer, he has performed with many distinguished persons, including Julia Edwards and Stretch Cox. His acting career has also seen him collaborate with prominent persons. In 1961 he had a role in the movie America by Night starring Lionel Hampton.

In 1963 he joined the Original Young Brigade (OYB), Sparrow’s calypso tent. He stayed at OYB for the next 23 years as an emcee and an actor in some of its calypso skits. He was the host of Dimanche Gras for 11 years.

As a calypsonian, his biggest hit was Go Back To School and he even entered the Soca Monarch Competition in 1998 with the song The Energiser. The consummate mas player, he is well-known for portraying na­tive Amer­i­can In­di­an, fan­cy sailor and African war­rior in J’Ou­vert celebrations.

 

                                                 In the jungle of concrete

                                                Smoke and coke

                                                Here, who cares

                                                     If you have enough bread

                                                      To by me overcoat

                                                      Ketch ass now start

                                                      Is three jobs ah wuking. Hear?

                                                     With gas, water, heat,

                                                     Light, rent, an train to pay

Book: Eye Love Myself

Excerpt taken from: To Migration

Call Number: WI 811.6 Tr

Source: Trotman, B. (2005).  Eye love myself. (n. p.): Bill Trotman.


derek-walcott-selected-poemsDEREK WALCOTT

Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. He was born in Castries, St. Lucia and moved to Trinidad in 1953 where he worked as a theatre and art critic. In 1959 he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his plays. His first work of poems entitled 25 Poems, was released when he was 18 years old. His breakthrough, though, came with the publication of In a Green Night (1962). In addition to being a poet and playwright, he has authored many essays and critical studies. He was a literature and creative writing lecturer at Boston University.

                                                                Our hammock swung between Americas,

                                                                we miss you, Liberty. Che’s

                                                           bullet-riddled body falls,

                                                      and those who cried, the Republic must first die

                                                   to be reborn, are dead,

                                                           the freeborn citizen’s ballot in the head.

                                                             Still, everybody wants to go to bed

                                                        with Miss America. And, if there’s no bread,

                                                            let them eat cherry pie.

 

Book: Derek Walcott: collected poems 1948 - 1984

Excerpt taken from: Elegy

Call Number: WI 811.54 Wa

Source: Nobel Media AB (2014). Derek Walcott – biographical. Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-bio.html

Walcott, D. (1992). Derek Walcott: collected poems 1948 – 1984. London: Faber and Faber.


100-poems-from-tntERIC MERTON ROACH

Eric Roach first started writing poems under the pseudonym Merton Maloney around the time of World War II. By the 1960s he had accumulated an impressive collection, many of which were published in Bim, Kyk-over-Al and other journals. There were no offers of publication though, so he returned to first teaching and then to journalism, however, in 1973 he resigned to devote himself once more to writing. Many of his poems such as The Flowering Rock and Homestead have been anthologized in Sun’s Eye, Caribbean Poetry Now and Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse among other publications and are truly beloved Caribbean poems. However, a full collection of his work was not published till 1992. Entitled The Flowering Rock: Collected Poems 1938-1974, this collection of poems included his published work, early poems published under his pseudonym and his unpublished poems from the 1970s. He was posthumously awarded the Trinidad and Tobago National Hummingbird Gold Medal in 1974.

 

                                                 at city centre here,

                                                in this green square

                                               the stone men closed,

                                                the trees stand witness

                                             that men do not die

                                                but grow in dreams of generations

                                                 bitter and beautiful as cedar leaves

 

                                               by flooding tides of wrath and beauty

                                             in the harsh comedy of history,

                                               that love distills like the trees’ sap

                                              from the disease of tyranny

                                            and shame’s corruption

                                            that shut up the square.

 

Book: 100 Poems from Trinidad & Tobago – edited by Ian Dieffenthaller and Anson Gonzalez  

Excerpt taken from:  City Centre

Call Number: WI 811.54 Pa

Source: Dieffenthaller, I. & Gonzalez, A. (Eds.). (2012). 100 poems from Trinidad & Tobago. Royston, United Kingdom: Cane Arrow Press.

Peepal Tree Press. (n. d.). Eric Roach. Retrieved from http://www.peepaltreepress.com/authors/eric-roach


 

SPOKEN WORD

Spoken word is performance poetry used to express the lived experiences and social realities of the poet.

ROOTS Foundation TT

The ROOTS Foundation of Trinidad & Tobago is a non-profit organization incorporated in 2009 with a mandate to develop spoken word poetry and other oral traditions as a catalyst for social change. Through the preservation and promotion of the oral traditions, our foundation connects generations and empowers young people to create positive futures for themselves, their families and their communities. Creative talent and leadership capabilities is developed through our community intervention programmes, youth mentorship, festivals, media production and other activities.

Speech, storytelling, spoken word, folktales, chants, calypso and other songs are among the oral traditions of our rich culture in Trinidad & Tobago.  It is largely through these oral traditions that our culture is able to share knowledge, art and ideas from one generation to another. The ROOTS Foundation is committed to promoting and growing our oral traditions in all forms through our initiatives.

Interested in becoming a member click here https://rootsfoundationtt.org/contact/

ROOTS FOUNDATION MEMBERS/CAST

celoi-carrCELOI CARR

Celoi Carr is a Spoken Word Artist and an aspiring Chemical Engineer currently studying at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). Celoi has taken her Trinbago flavoured spoken word poetry to New York at several open mic events. In 2017 she was a finalist at the First Citizens National Poetry Slam and in 2018 she was part of the ROOTS Foundation team which represented Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. Celoi’s passion for creating positive change has advance her to the post of President of the San Fernando Technical Institute Student Guild Chapter.

 

 


curious-ringoCURIOUS RINGO

Curious Ringo is a decorated artist who performs many genres of music from rapso, calypso, soca, rap, hip hop, spoken word and reggae. He is continuously trying new things, sounds and styles hence the name ‘Curious’. He is the underground champion of freestyle as he can entertain, embarrass or enthral with his rhymes. Curious however, prefers to be referred to as a rapso artist, as his compositions are based on the power of the word in the rhythm of the word. Under the tutelage of Brother Resistance, Karega Mandela and the Rapso House, he was granted the opportunity to hone his art and showcase it to the national public. Curios Ringo has shared stages with 3 Canal, Ataklan, Brother Resistance, Sheldon Blackman, Gyazette, Blood Red Clover, Shakeela, Solaris, Gary Acosta, Ozy Majiq and Andy Venture to name a few. Curious is currently working with Detnators Studio, where he is experimenting with new sounds and also the production of advertisements and jingles, so we are all curious as to what Curious will do next! Curious  is an alumni of Cascadoo CNVI Festival of Spoken Word.


emmanuel-villafanaEMMANUEL VILLAFANA

Emmanuel Villafana is a manipulator of words, youth empowerment activist and spoken word workshop facilitator. He won the Catholic Youth Commission Poetry Slam and was a finalist at the First Citizens National Poetry Slam. Emmanuel is a two-time coach of the ROOTS Foundation Brave New Voices team coaching the team to the semi-finals (2017) and grand finals (2018). He is a member of ROOTS Foundation and an alumni of Cascadoo CNVI Festival of Spoken Word.

 

 

 

 


jeremy-josephJEREMY JOSEPH

Jeremy Joseph is an 18-year old chef and spoken word poet. His culinary skills are not limited to his many ‘creations’ but his ability to pass on his knowledge to his peers. He represented Trinity College East in the Courts Secondary School Slam placing third, thus allowing him to advance his spoken word career with the 2Cents Movement. He placed second at the Mr and Mrs San Fest teen talent competition and was part of the ROOTS Foundation team which represented Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in 2017 and 2018.

 

 

 


isiah-johnISAIAH JOHN

Isaiah John is an 18-year-old Extempo and Spoken Word artist. In 2017 he placed third in the National Junior Extempo Monarch. Isaiah is a media intern and spoken word poet at the 2Cents Movement. He was a finalist in the Courts Secondary School Slam. Isaiah is the vice-captain of the ROOTS Foundation team which represented Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in 2017 and 2018. Isaiah is an alumni of Cascadoo CNVI Festival of Spoken Word.

 

 

 

 


sade-edwardsSADE EDWARDS

Sade Edwards, known as Sadaeya, has been performing professionally in music and drama for the past 7-years as a singer, song-writer and an aspiring actress. Her performances have been at Best Village, NGC San Fest where she captured the 2015 Calpyso title and placed 2nd at the Envirofest Competition in Siparia. She recently released a single alongside a music video in collaboration with Major Ranks called “Mad Over Yuh” which was produced by Beat Box Productions & GQ Maximum. She is currently pursuing her education at the University of the Trinidad and Tobago engaging in a BFA in the Performing Arts with her concentration being Acting. Sade was part of the ROOTS Foundation team which represented Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in 2018.

 


sharifa-selmanSHARIFA SELMAN

Sharifa Selman is a rapper, singer, music producer and spoken word poet attached to the ROOTS Foundation. Such diversity speaks volumes towards her love for the arts. While her tenure as a spoken word poet has only been a year, she was a semi-finalist at the First Citizen National Poetry Slam and is a part of the Abyssinia: A Journey of Change school tour. Sharifa’s most notable achievement thus far has been representing Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in 2018. She also participated in the Brave New Voices’ MC Olympics placing second. Sharifa is an alumni of Cascadoo CNVI Festival of Spoken Word.

 

 


shineque--saundersSHINEQUE SAUNDERS

Shineque Saunders is a 19-year-old Theatre Arts Major at the University of the West Indies. Saunders was the winner of the National Secondary Schools Poetry Intercol in 2016 and has been featured as one of the top 25 most talented young persons in the Caribbean Airlines Caribbean Beat Magazine in 2017. She is the captain of the ROOTS Foundation team which represented Trinidad and Tobago at the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in 2017 and 2018 and is an alumni of Cascadoo CNVI Festival of Spoken Word where she was mentored by internationally renowned UK poet, actress and writer, Kat Francois. Saunders recently made her debut as a vocalist in the production “Bout Blue” a show written and produced by Arielle John. She hopes to make her mark on the twin isle as a vocalist as well.

 


THE PIERROT GRENADE

The scholar of the ‘ole time’ masque can spell any word in his original way, with style and creativity.The Pierrot Grenade is a descendant of the Pierrot– a finely dressed masquerader and deeply learned scholar, who displays his erudition by spelling polysyllabic words and quoting passages from Shakespeare. He was also a feared fighter with a whip or bull pistle, and was followed by a band of female supporters who fought on his behalf against other Pierrot groups. His descendant, the Pierrot Grenade, is a satire on the richer and more respectable Pierrot.

The Pierrot Grenade is egotistical and retains the scholarly mien, but instead of the elegant costume, he wears rags. His gown consists of crocus bag (burlap), on which strips of coloured cloth, small tins containing pebbles, and small boxes that rattle, are attached. He may wear a hat or a coloured head tie on his head, and his face is covered with a grotesque mask. The mask provides anonymity for someone who delights in making barbed comments on "respectable" members of the community.


PERSONS WHO PORTRAYED THE PIERROT GRENADE

felix-edinboroughFELIX EDINBOROUGH

Felix Edinborough continues to perform and represent T&T as the Pierrot Grenade for over 31-years throughout Europe, North America and the Caribbean. His performance continues to be a staple at the annual Paul Keens Douglas Talk Tent, where he began back in 1983 alongside the late John Agitation and Puggy (midnight robber) and other stand-up comedians. His notable performances have been at the late Patrick Manning official residence, the 5th Summit of the Americas and at the 2007 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

 

 

 


keomi-serretteKEOMI SERRETTE

Keomi Serrette is a Visual Artist and Art Curator. This passion for visual arts began at St. Dominic's Convent where she was nominated for the Principal’s Prize for Visual Arts in 2003 at the Convent's Valedictory function. In addition, she was awarded Most Outstanding Visual Arts student at UWI Sixth Form School in 2007. In 2008 she went on to pursue a Bachelor Degree in Visual Arts from the UWI St. Augustine Campus and simultaneously started her career at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago where she is still employed. In 2016, she was selected by the British Council as one of two candidates from the Caribbean to represent the Caribbean at the Museum International Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2017, Keomi was awarded a scholarship by the Organization of American States (OAS), in collaboration with the UWI Open Campus to pursue two (2) graduate courses in the area of heritage studies - Museum Conservation Skills and Values-based Heritage Site Management. Keomi recently graduated as a Pierrot Grenade under the tutelage of the legendary Felix Edinborough.


andre-bagooANDRE BAGOO

Andre Bagoo’s has appeared in Boston Review, Cincinnati Review, St Petersburg Review, and The Poetry Review. Books include: Tricks Vessels (Shearsman, 2012), BURN (Shearsman, 2015), Pitch Lake (Peepal Tree, 2017), and The City of Dreadful Night (Prote(s)xt, 2018). Bagoo was awarded the Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize in 2017. He participated in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts’ Mentoring by the Masters programme led by Felix Edinborough in 2018.

 

 

 


mitma-solwaziMTIMA SOLWAZI

Mtima Solwazi utilizes spoken word as a tool for social activism, civic engagement, arts education, literacy development, social-entrepreneurship and event organizing. Mtima is actively involved in youth and community development working with vulnerable youth in at-risk circumstances and Opportunity Youth in high-risk environments and criminogenic communities. He founded The Oral Tradition ROOTS Foundation which utilizes spoken word poetry as a catalyst for social change. He conceptualized and developed Cascadoo Caribbean New Voices International Festival of Spoken Word and Abyssinia a Journey of Change. Mtima has recently graduated as a Pierrot Granede under the tutelage of the legendary Felix Edinborough.

 


danielle-layneDANIELLE LAYNE

Danielle Layne is a freelance writer and artist who completed her Visual Arts studies at the University of the West Indies. Her articles cover topics such as business, technology and lifestyle. Danielle has recently graduated as a Pierrot Grenade under the tutelage of the legendary Felix Edinborough.

 

 

 

 

 


SPOKEN WORD ARTIST

thaddy-boomTHADDY BOOM

Thaddy Boom’s foundation in performance poetry started in 2008 with U.We Speak, a student centered space for discourse on issues through performance and discussion. Boom was also one of the founding members of the youth-led NGO, 2 Cents Movement. Currently he is an active member of Drama Making A Difference (DMAD) Company. He utilises these tools to foster youth development when working with other groups like Massy Foundation Rites of Passage: Boys To Men.

“Writing is always a journey of the mind for me, performance is my very own travel agency, where I am able to take others along with me”, Thaddy Boom.

 

 


To see performances by these Spoken Word Artists please click on the link below:

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqZpK7NAGaB0jdsbZMlpvFmEmLYptP5Yh