Archive for the ‘Kelly Baker Josephs’ Category

sx salon, issue 15 (February 2014)

Friday, 28 February 2014

Introduction and Table of Contents

Our first issue of 2014 tackles the concept of Chinese Caribbean literature with a special section of essays, interviews, and creative writing that approach this proposed literary category from different locations. Opening the discussion, Anne-Marie Lee-Loy asks the following “intrinsically intertwined” questions: “Is there such a thing as Chinese Caribbean literature? What would make such literature identifiably ‘Chinese Caribbean’?” And these questions haunt the other pieces in this issue’s special section.  In the two included interviews, Easton Lee speaks with Tzarina Prater about his early years and the influence they now have on his work while Patricia Powell discusses with Stephen Narain the curiosity that led her to writing The Pagoda, a novel that Lee-Loy notes troubles the impulse to constitute Chinese Caribbean literature by author origins. Powell reveals:

The novel grew out of a desire to know more about home, to know Jamaica’s history, to understand the Chinese experience in Jamaica, the complexities of otherness for them—people who are neither black nor white. I wanted to know their particular experiences of exile and immigration and displacement, their experiences of community and home there on the island.

These complexities arise in the two creative pieces in the special section, both of which return to the ubiquitous, though often overlooked, Mr. Chin character. While Victor Chang’s short story marries the unimaginable and the expected occurring on and to Mr. Chin’s property, Staceyann Chin’s poem to her father voices Mr. Chin’s progeny, the daughter now diasporic citizen who refuses to forget. Tao Leigh Goffe’s article closes the section with a consideration of six writers, including Staceyann Chin, who are “thrice diasporized,” that is, “shaped by the experiences of the African diaspora, the Asian diaspora, and the Caribbean diaspora.”

Via the writers included in this special section, this discussion seeks to not only contribute to but also complexify the slowly growing acknowledgement of a significant body of work from the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.

Our issue also features five new book reviews as well as creative work from Cyril Dabydeen, Colin Robinson, Reuel Ben Lewi, and Rajiv Mohabir. The table of contents is included below.

This issue of sx salon is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Stuart Hall (3 February 1932–10 February 2014).

Kelly Baker Josephs

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sx salon 15 (February 2014)

Introduction and Table of Contents—Kelly Baker Josephs

Reviews

The Festival of the Wild Orchid by Ann-Margaret Lim—Leonora Simonovis-Brown
Light Falling on Bamboo by Lawrence Scott—Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard
Fault Lines by Kendel Hippolyte—Leanne Haynes
Archipelago: A Novel by Monique Roffey—Michael Sawyer
Postcolonial Odysseys: Derek Walcott’s Voyages of Homecoming by Maeve Tynan—Gyasi Byng

Discussion—Chinese Caribbean Literature

Identifying a Chinese Caribbean Literature: Pitfalls and Possibilities—Anne-Marie Lee-Loy
“Let Me Tell You How I Began”: A Conversation with Easton Lee—Tzarina T. Prater
Letter to My Father—Staceyann Chin
Mr. Chin’s Property—Victor Chang
(Re-)Constructing the Pagoda: A Conversation with Patricia Powell—Stephen Narain
Thrice Diasporized: The Emergence of Caribbean Chinese Diasporic Anglophone Literature—Tao Leigh Goffe

Prose

Cyril Dabydeen

Poetry

Colin Robinson
Reuel Ben Lewi
Rajiv Mohabir

sx salon 14 (November 2013)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Our fall issue of sx salon exhibits the variety of Caribbean cultural production. Our discussion section features an essay by poet and author Kei Miller on dub poetry and the “sort of life” it may continue to have in the diasporas. With an eye toward the element of home in the Caribbean diaspora, choreographer Chris Walker and poet Danez Smith blend word and dance as they ask what it means when home is no longer a safe place. Our third essay continues with the question of diaspora as Bernard James examines the tenuous and often fraught connections between Caribbean Americans and African Americans.

Our reviews in this issue are split between fiction and what we may sometimes wish to be fiction. Sandy Alenxandre introduces us to the first novel from Haitian American author Elsie Augustave, while Maja Horn reviews Junot Díaz’s return to Yunior in This Is How You Lose Her. Garfield Ellis reflects on “master storyteller” Anthony Winkler’s turn to historical fiction, with his signature humor. We also consider nonfictional narratives of history with Suzanne Uzzilia’s review of Sugar in the Blood, by Andrea Stuart, and Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807–1838, by Dave St. Aubyn Gosse. Bringing that narrative into the present, Taurean Webb discusses Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide by Hilary Beckles, to whom Geoffrey Philp dedicates his poem in this issue, “Busha Day Done.” We also feature poetry from emerging poets Kevin Browne and Enzo Silon Surin, as well as from well-known poet, writer, and activist Patrick Sylvain.

In our Poetry & Prose section we also announce the short list and winners for each category of the 2013 Small Axe Literary Competition. The winners of the 2013 competition:

  • In the Short Fiction category, first prize goes to Ruel Johnson and second prize to Lesley-Ann Wanliss.
  • In the Poetry category, first prize goes to Vladimir Lucien and second prize to Ruel Johnson.

Please join us in congratulating the writers and poets on our short list as well as our winners. We wish you all the best for the coming holidays and hope you enjoy this fall issue of sx salon (table of contents below).

Kelly Baker Josephs

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sx salon 14 (November 2013)

Introduction and Table of Contents—Kelly Baker Josephs

Reviews

God Carlos and The Family Mansion, by Anthony Winkler—Garfield Ellis
The Roving Tree, by Elsie Augustave—Sandy Alexandre
This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Díaz—Maja Horn
Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, by Hilary Beckles—Taurean Webb
Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire, by Andrea Stuart, and
Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807–1838, by Dave St Aubyn Gosse—Suzanne Uzzilia

Discussion articles

A Smaller Sound, a Lesser Fury: A Eulogy for Dub Poetry—Kei Miller
Facing Home, a Phobia: A Reflection on “In My Shadow”—Chris Walker, with Danez Smith
Fortifications for a Wobbly Bridge—Bernard James

Poetry

Patrick Sylvain
Kevin A. Browne
Enzo Silon Surin
Geoffrey Philp

sx salon 13 (August 2013)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Introduction and Table of Contents

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sx salon 12 (May 2013)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Introduction and Table of Contents

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The Fiction of Independence

Monday, 11 February 2013

sx salon, issue 11 (February 2013)

Introduction and Table of Contents

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Adultery and Anticolonialism

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Pleasures of Independence Literature

Kelly Baker Josephs

In the poem “Hope Gardens,” Lorna Goodison writes of the disjuncture between what a would-be poet learns in a seminar led by a postcolonial scholar and what she remembers of Hope Gardens in Kingston. Listening to the scholar reveal “plot / after heinous imperial plot buried behind / our botanical gardens,” the speaker can remember only the delights of picture taking, sky gazing, daydreaming in the gardens. Charming memories that inspire her to memorialize the gardens in verse; but this verse, and the pleasures it aims to record, is threatened by the scholar’s revelations about the pervasiveness of colonial power. Goodison closes the poem:

We the ignorant, the uneducated, unaware

That the roses we assumed bloomed just
to full eye were representative of English
lady beauty; unenlightened we were, so we

picked them on the sly to give as token
to the love we got lost in the maze with—
quick thief a kiss—and this colonial design

was nowhere in mind or sight; but even if
and so what?[1]

Goodison’s poem raises more than some simple question of ignorance being bliss. She pits pleasure against postcolonial enlightenment. Though she focuses on gardens here, I take her words as an opening to my discussion of pleasure to be found in Caribbean fiction published in the 1960s, the era of independence in the anglophone islands. (more…)

sx salon, issue 10 (August 2012)

Friday, 31 August 2012

Introduction and Table of Contents

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sx salon, issue 9 (May 2012)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Introduction and Table of Contents

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sx salon, issue 8 (February 2012)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Introduction and Table of Contents

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sx salon, issue 7 (December 2011)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Introduction and Table of Contents

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