Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967) places emphasis on the connections between what Walcott terms the “given minds of the principal characters,” their possible madness, and their ambiguous dreams. Walcott takes full advantage of the dramatic form to explore madness and dream, creating a doubled division for his characters and audience between fantasy and reality, madness and sanity. In this essay, This article reads Walcott's choice of the theater, rather than poetry, as necessary in engendering a collective response to, and responsibility for, envisioning a postcolonial West Indian community. It also examines the ways in which the play combines various influences with the representation of dreams and madness to stage visions of Caribbean unity.
Kelly Baker Josephs is an assistant professor of English at York College, City University of New York. She teaches courses in anglophone Caribbean literature, postcolonial literature and theory, literatures of the African diaspora, and gender studies. She is currently working on a book on representations of madness in anglophone Caribbean literature.
This article examines transnational circulations of Afro-Jamaican and African-American political culture during 1960s and 1970s (roughly encompassing Jamaican independence, the transitions between Black Power and post–Black-Power era United States, and the year of escalating political violence, state destabilization, and economic collapse within the Jamaican state). Using an idea of sound as a marker of ideological projection and political possibility, this essay considers how forms of black political representation and national liberation move across geographic spaces and can represent intersecting yet divergent narratives of race and nation. In this context, I examine works and performances by Martin Luther King Jr. (during his 1965 speeches in Kingston) and Peter Tosh (during his 1978 One Love Peace Concert performance) as a way of framing how discourses of black liberation, postcolonial critique, Civil Rights and Black Power ideologies, and Rastafarian consciousness animate the efforts of both figures as they attempt to refashion ideas of black political possibility through and against the terms of modern emancipation and citizenship.
Carter Mathes is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where he specializes in African American literature and African diaspora studies. He is currently completing a book manuscript titled “Imagine the Sound: Experimental Form in Post–Civil Rights African American Literature” and is also beginning a project that focuses on the circulation of black internationalism and cultural production between Jamaica and the United States during the twentieth century. He has published in Contemporary Literature and is currently coediting a volume of essays on the Black Arts movement writer and critic Larry Neal.
While the Jamaican film industry is still fledgling, Jamaicans and Jamaica have made many cameos and acted as the background against which stories from Hollywood and other areas around the world are crafted. This article takes particular aim at three films: The Mighty Quinn (1989),Sharktale (2004), and Transporter 2 (2005), which are analyzed to explore the links between narrative, power, and representation and read beyond the cinematic text, exploring the shadows, the unspoken, the unvisualized, the unwritten elements of the films. The article explores the representation of the Jamaican landscape as an exoticized idyll and the representation of Jamaicans as Rasta and/or gangsters. Tied to these images are the depictions of Jamaicans as obeah workers and believers.
Tanya Batson-Savage is an MPhil candidate at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Her career has spanned the gamut of teaching, journalism, advertising, publicity, and creative writing. She is the author of a collection of stories for children, Pumpkin Belly and Other Stories(2005). Her writings have appeared in Moods of Jamaica, Jamaica Journal, and Bim.
It has become commonplace to acknowledge that alongside the development of a powerful labor movement and the nation's first political party, Jamaica's literature came into its own during the 1930s and 1940s. This article explores how the different kind of work carried out in two of the publications from this period associated with the Manley family, the newspaper Public Opinion and the literary journal Focus, speaks to the alliance but also the cleavages between the political and the literary. It looks at Public Opinion's publication history from its founding in 1937 through the publication of the first issue of Focus in 1943 to see how the place of literature in Public Opinion's pages changes over time. The article finds that Public Opinion during these years goes through three stages in terms of its relationship to literary publication: an uneven beginning from its founding in 1937 up to the formation of the PNP in 1938, a sort of golden age for literature in the newspaper from 1939 to 1942, and then a period beginning in 1942 where literature drops out of the newspaper's pages almost entirely while Focus is founded as an alternative space for the literary.
Raphael Dalleo is assistant professor of English at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Lauderdale. He is coauthor of The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature (2007), a study of the relationship of politics and the market to contemporary literature from the Hispanic Caribbean diaspora. His essays on Caribbean literature have been published in Journal of West Indian Literature, Anthurium, South Asian Review, and Diaspora. He is currently completing a manuscript titled “Caribbean Literature and the Public Sphere: From Anticolonial to Postcolonial.”
When St. Lucian-descended Black British artist Isaac Julien presented his avant-garde triple-screen video work Paradise Omeros at a Festival of African and Caribbean Film in Barbados, a member of the audience commended him on the work but regretted it was not being shown to the “real Barbados.” To this, Julien retorted that gallery audiences were also “real,” and moreover necessary to an artist like himself who seeks to challenge conventional visual expectations of genre in both film and art.By performing a close reading of his short film Encore: Paradise Omeros Redux (2003), while referencing those of Julien's works that directly address the Caribbean, this article asks if they are `relevant' to a Caribbean audience. Or does their art gallery provenance and anticonventional form, along with the challenge they pose to the pieties of nationalism, gender, and creole identity, push them beyond the limits of consensual meaning?
Jane Bryce was born and brought up in Tanzania, and was educated there as well as in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Since 1992, she has taught at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, where she is professor of African literature and cinema. She has published in the areas of contemporary African and Caribbean fiction, film and visual culture, popular writing, women’s writing, and journalism, and her own creative writing, and is the author of Chameleon (2007), a collection of short fiction, and editor of Caribbean Dispatches: Inside Stories of the Caribbean(2006).
This article explores the repeating patterns of the subordinate colonial relationship using a handful of pictures that make links between slavery, pageantry, racial uplift, Jamaica's dancehall culture, and dress. Through a truncated discussion about the body, emasculation, clothing, and race, it offers a narrative about postemancipation Jamaican males that looks beneath their masks to suggest how legacies of slavery are being played out through them in dynamic and queer ways. Jamaica's history is one that has always called for the Janus-faced accessory: a dressing up ritual to disguise the subaltern and the transgressive. After two hundred years of masquarades and street performances—a history that spans from Belisario to Beenie Man—it is time to ask the question, what's in your closet?
Petrine Archer is an art historian, lecturer, and curator currently teaching at Cornell University, Ithaca. Trained at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, she is the author of Negrophilia: Avant-Garde Paris and Black Culture in the 1920s (2000), coauthor of Jamaican Art (1990), and editor of Fifty Years—Fifty Artists (2000). Her new exhibition and publication titled Rasta! is forthcoming.
Monica Minott is a chartered accountant and a PhD candidate in development studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She has won awards for two book-length collections of poetry in the Jamaican National Book Development Council’s annual literary competition. Her work has been published in the Caribbean Writer, and most recently she won first place for poetry in the 2009 Small Axe Literary Competition.
Tanya Shirley teaches in the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She was awarded an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Her work has appeared in the Caribbean Writer, a previous issue of Small Axe, and in New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology (2007). She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a past participant in Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops. In 2009 she won second place for poetry in the Small Axe Literary Competition and her first poetry collection, She Who Sleeps with Bones, was published by Peepal Tree Press.
Ashley Rousseau is a writer and teacher who was born in Gordon Town, Jamaica, and still lives on the island. A graduate of the Lesley University MFA program, she has been published in the Caribbean Writer, Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters, and the Jamaica Observer Arts Magazine, where she won second place in the magazine’s Arts Competition in 1999. In 2009 she won first place for short fiction in the Small Axe Literary Competition.
Alake Pilgrim is a young writer from Trinidad and Tobago with a BA from Bates College and an MA from New York University, focusing on creative responses to trauma in Caribbean literature and culture. She is the recipient of two Commonwealth Short Story Regional Prizes, for 2004 and 2009, and the 2005 Derek Walcott New Writers’ Prize for Short Fiction, and she won second place for short fiction in the 2009 Small Axe Literary Competition. She has worked in marketing and communications at the University of the West Indies.
Nikolai Noel (whose work also appears on the cover of this issue) was born in 1976 in Belmont, Port of Spain. He studied design at the John Donaldson Technical Institute and, later, visual art at the University of the West Indies. He began exhibiting work in 2000 and since then has participated in several group shows, solo shows, collaborations, and public art projects. In The Dimming series, he insinuates gender politics, memory, remorse, and death into a sequence of diagrams, figures, and landscapes.
Satch Hoyt is a visual artist and musician currently living and working in Berlin. He makes sculptures and installations accompanied with sound, as well as paintings and drawings. He has recorded with Grace Jones and Louise Bourgeois (in her less-well-known activities as spoken-word poet and rapper), and is currently a member of Greg Tate’s band Burnt Sugar and is working on a solo album titled “Griots and CyberCrooks.”
A Discussion of Lorna Goodison's memoir, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island.
Donette Francis is an associate professor in the Department of English at Binghamton University. She is the author of Fictions of Feminine Citizenship: Sexuality and the Nation in Contemporary Caribbean Literature (2010).
From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island is an autobiographical/biographical narrative that not only resituates the body of Lorna Goodison's published work in relation to the mother as archetype of female becoming, it also reaffirms the historical trajectory of Jamaican national becoming by insisting on the creative power of Jamaica's racial and cultural heterogeneity. On the one hand, the memoir honors domesticity as the necessary and valuable work of nurturing family and community while maintaining discreet lines of demarcation between the persona of the professional writer Lorna Goodison in the twenty-first century, and that of Doris Goodison archetypal mother of the twentieth. On the other, it honors a cultural landscape of national becoming fashioned by a motley assortment of colonials and rebels, masters and slaves, Europeans and Africans and Creoles, who stitched together the complex cultural legacy of “making life” in a transformational and generative struggle for social betterment that is at once personal, familial and collective.
Sandra Pouchet Paquet teaches Caribbean literature at the University of Miami. She is the author of The Novels of George Lamming (1982) andCaribbean Autobiography (2002), and is coeditor of Music, Memory, Resistance: Calypso and the Caribbean Literary Imagination (2007). She has published widely on Caribbean literature in leading journals in the field and is the editor of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.
A response to Sandra Pouchet Paquet's and Donette Francis' discussion of Goodison's memoir, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island
Lorna Goodison was born in Jamaica and has received much recognition and many awards for her writing in both poetry and prose, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the Musgrave Gold Medal from Jamaica, and most recently the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island (2007). Her books of poetry include Tamarind Season(1980), I Am Becoming My Mother (1986), Heartease (1988), Selected Poems (1992), To Us, All Flowers Are Roses[End Page 184] (1995), Turn Thanks (1999), Guinea Woman: New and Selected Poems (2000), Travelling Mercies (2001), Controlling the Silver (2005), and Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems (2006). She has also published two collections of short stories, Baby Mother and the King of Swords (1990) and Fool-Fool Rose Is Leaving Labour-in-Vain Savannah (2005). Her paintings have been exhibited throughout the Americas and in Europe. She currently teaches in the Department of English and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, where she is the Lemuel A. Johnson Collegiate Professor.