Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture

The Fabric of Words: Caribbean Women Weaving History in Literature with Dr. Warren Harding

March 06, 2024 Alexandria Miller Episode 78
The Fabric of Words: Caribbean Women Weaving History in Literature with Dr. Warren Harding
Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture
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Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture
The Fabric of Words: Caribbean Women Weaving History in Literature with Dr. Warren Harding
Mar 06, 2024 Episode 78
Alexandria Miller

Send us a text message and tell us your thoughts.

As we weave through Women's History Month and International Women's Day, the  patchwork of Caribbean women's literature takes center stage. With scholar Dr. Warren Harding, we celebrate the novels and poetry that carve out a space for the stories of Caribbean women. Our conversation turns the pages of history, culture, and activism, as Dr. Harding shares the profound influence of storytellers like Miss Lou and his own family's narratives on his Jamaican heritage and academic focus.

Caribbean women's voices unfold in our discussion on the role of these writers in painting a nuanced portrait of their communities, both at home and in the diaspora. We acknowledge the diversity within these stories, showcasing how they lay the groundwork for dialogues on marginalization and resistance. Trailblazers like Makeda Silvera and Merle Hodge are brought into the spotlight, illuminating their significant contributions to the literature that serves as a beacon for revolutionary thought.

The final thread of our episode examines the profound impact of Silvera on the writing and publishing industry through Sister Vision Press. We traverse the landscape of narratives that intersect with race, gender, and citizenship, celebrating how these stories from Michelle Cliff to Edwidge Danticat enrich our literary horizons. This episode is a testament to the transformative power of Caribbean literature and a heartfelt invitation to embrace these compelling voices in their own exploration of the written word.

*Noted Correction: Sister Vision Press was founded in 1985.

Dr. Warren Harding is an Assistant Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric at Binghamton University.  His work engages practices of reading, Black feminist literary and cultural criticism, and literary fieldwork in contemporary Caribbean and Afro-diasporic literary cultures. In his first monograph, tentatively titled Migratory Reading: Black Caribbean Women and the Work of

Caribbean Legal Solutions is the easiest way to find an attorney in the Caribbean. Visit their website at caribbeanlegalsolutions.com 

Disclaimer: This podcast ad contains general information about Caribbean Legal Solutions and is not intended as legal advice.  Always consult with a qualified attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

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Send us a text message and tell us your thoughts.

As we weave through Women's History Month and International Women's Day, the  patchwork of Caribbean women's literature takes center stage. With scholar Dr. Warren Harding, we celebrate the novels and poetry that carve out a space for the stories of Caribbean women. Our conversation turns the pages of history, culture, and activism, as Dr. Harding shares the profound influence of storytellers like Miss Lou and his own family's narratives on his Jamaican heritage and academic focus.

Caribbean women's voices unfold in our discussion on the role of these writers in painting a nuanced portrait of their communities, both at home and in the diaspora. We acknowledge the diversity within these stories, showcasing how they lay the groundwork for dialogues on marginalization and resistance. Trailblazers like Makeda Silvera and Merle Hodge are brought into the spotlight, illuminating their significant contributions to the literature that serves as a beacon for revolutionary thought.

The final thread of our episode examines the profound impact of Silvera on the writing and publishing industry through Sister Vision Press. We traverse the landscape of narratives that intersect with race, gender, and citizenship, celebrating how these stories from Michelle Cliff to Edwidge Danticat enrich our literary horizons. This episode is a testament to the transformative power of Caribbean literature and a heartfelt invitation to embrace these compelling voices in their own exploration of the written word.

*Noted Correction: Sister Vision Press was founded in 1985.

Dr. Warren Harding is an Assistant Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric at Binghamton University.  His work engages practices of reading, Black feminist literary and cultural criticism, and literary fieldwork in contemporary Caribbean and Afro-diasporic literary cultures. In his first monograph, tentatively titled Migratory Reading: Black Caribbean Women and the Work of

Caribbean Legal Solutions is the easiest way to find an attorney in the Caribbean. Visit their website at caribbeanlegalsolutions.com 

Disclaimer: This podcast ad contains general information about Caribbean Legal Solutions and is not intended as legal advice.  Always consult with a qualified attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

Support the Show.

Connect with Strictly Facts - Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube

Looking to read more about the topics covered in this episode? Subscribe to the newsletter at www.strictlyfactspod.com to get the Strictly Facts Syllabus to your email!

Want to Support Strictly Facts?

  • Rate the Show
  • Leave a review on your favorite podcast platform
  • Share this episode with someone who loves Caribbean history and culture
  • Send us a DM or voice note to have your thoughts featured on an upcoming episode
  • Share the episode on social media and tag us
  • Donate to help us continue empowering listeners with Caribbean history and education

Produced by Breadfruit Media

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Strictly Facts, a guide to Caribbean history and culture hosted by me, alexandra Miller. Strictly Facts teaches the history, politics and activism of the Caribbean and connects these themes to contemporary music and popular culture. Hello, hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Strictly Facts, a guide to Caribbean history and culture.

Speaker 1:

I'm your host, alexandra Miller, and if you've been part of the Strictly Facts family for a little while, you know that amongst all of the particular fields of mind that I study within Caribbean history, I also study Caribbean women's history particularly, which makes March a very big month for me. So, of course, wanting to wish everyone a happy, happy women's history month, as well as a happy, almost international women's day, celebrated Friday March 8. In my research sometimes, you know, I stumble across people who ask me different questions, like you know is it difficult to study women's history? Or what are some of the books or mediums that I suggest as great places for them to start their own studies? I have quite a list that I'll be sharing on the blog this coming week, so, don't worry, that will be definitely going out.

Speaker 1:

But one thing I always say is there is such a wealth of Caribbean women's literature. Yes, oftentimes there are novels or poems. You know, things that may be fictionalized to a certain extent and we've always discussed through our Strictly Facts sound segment. Novels, poems and in general just popular culture overall are tremendous avenues to explore our history that may not otherwise be available. And so joining me for this wonderful discussion is my good friend, a fellow alum of my program, one of the preeminent scholars of Caribbean women's literature, guy you know say when me say friend and all I know just regular friend, the Dr Warren Harding, assistant professor of English general literature and rhetoric at Bingting University. So, warren, thank you so much for joining me for this show. Why don't you let us know a bit about yourself? Where in the Caribbean you rep Camino but tell people them and what inspired your research in Caribbean women's literature.

Speaker 2:

So, man, big ups times, alexandra, for first inviting me to the podcast chat with you and listeners a bit about Caribbean women's literature. You know you're too kind, you're really too kind. My name is Dr Warren Harding. As Alexandria said, I am a writer and educator and scholar. I am an assistant professor of English here at SUNY Binghamton and upstate New York where I teach courses on globalization, literary culture, caribbean women's writing, caribbean imagination, as well as American literature so far, and McCom from Jamaica, bob.

Speaker 1:

Bob, Bob, Bob.

Speaker 2:

And I was raised in New York. So I moved, you know, when I was five, brooklyn, and then my family moved to Staten Island. So you know my New Yorker and my interest in Caribbean women's literature I think takes like twofold For one. You know, growing up I would always hear miss Lou right and ring ding and the storytelling of the women in my family and you know that really impacted me to, you know, to just have an appreciation of language, have an appreciation of my history in ways that weren't necessarily in academic spaces or in, you know, k through 12 education, right especially in moving to the US. But what I think spurred my scholarly interest in Caribbean women's writing, I went to Oberlin College for my undergrad and I majored in Africana studies there and history and I took a class in the history department on immigration and US history and we were tasked with doing an oral history of someone and I decided to do an oral history of one of my professors, dr Meredith Gadsby, who was my mentor as well as an advisor.

Speaker 2:

And for those who don't know Meredith Gadsby, she is the author of Sucking Salt and she wrote a lot about Caribbean women's writing and migration and survival. And you know, in interviewing her. You know I just had this appreciation of you know, trying to learn more about. You know how she began her work in terms of looking at the women in her family who came from Barbados to the US, to Canada right and to the UK, and understanding all of these migratory flows and talking about her identity as a second generation Caribbean American woman.

Speaker 2:

You know how she was able to navigate that space and so at the time I was researching dance hall I think about dance hall and post colonialism and then moved on to think about the Caribbean artist movement in London and you know be the ray of just literary production and cultural production in the mid 20th century. And so that was happening, and one of the things that I realized, or something that happened along the way, was three of the women in my family passed my aunt, my grandmother, my great grandmother passed in one year. And so, as I was finishing up my research, particularly on the Caribbean artist movement, you know I also knew that my own grandmother had went to the London and I was doing that same time when the Caribbean artist movement was, you know, within a day in the 60s, and I realized that all the folks that I focused on were men right.

Speaker 2:

And so where is my grandmother and all of this, or where's my on in all of this? Was my great grandmother and all of this? The narratives, how are they complicated, how are their lives shared right in stories and in this development? And so I forgot to also mention I was researching as well the poetry and the, the poetry movement to in the 60s and the 70s between the UK and Jamaica, and so I kind of had a shift, because it wasn't as if Caribbean women writers weren't in my mind, right in my brain. Actually, from the interviews with Meredith at the time, you know, the writer that came to mind a lot was Paul Marshall.

Speaker 2:

Of course, audrey Lord as well, right, but I didn't write about them. In a scholar, you know, in my scholarship or in my studies, I was reading them all the time but I wasn't writing about them. So that really inspired me, you know, as I moved on to grad school, to delve more into Caribbean women's literature and Caribbean women's writing, because you know, it just opened up a world to see not only the, you know, particularly in the Anglophone Caribbean, but also the Spanish-Foam Caribbean, the Francophone Caribbean, you know, just these narratives of migration, these narratives and these aesthetic moves between the past and the present. That really enriched my life, and was just enriching how I saw, how I listened to and how I understood the world that I was living in.

Speaker 1:

You touch on some very necessary points that I definitely want us to highlight throughout our episode today. But one thing that I think is particular in my view and why I oftentimes recommend Caribbean women's literature to you know, some individuals just seeking to know a little bit more about Caribbean women, is the fact that you know, through these histories of colonization of you know, patriarchy, all of these things right, there are. You know, if we're going back to times of slavery and indentured ship, those narratives for the most part are not written by the people who look like us. You know there are a few I think particularly of Mary Prince's story but there aren't a wealth of them, right. They are stories about us that are written by people who did not look at us favorably, and that's me putting it nicely, right.

Speaker 1:

And then I think, if we even move forward a little bit in time and look at just hierarchies of how scholarship is written, there are so many particularly like male Caribbean scholars and theorists who we think about. You know, from Stuart Hall, you know Walter Rodney, amazing scholars in their own right. So I'm not taking that away from them by any means, but I definitely think the gist of understanding, you know, the range of Caribbean experiences can definitely be one-sided or a little bit provincial. You know when we're focusing on these Caribbean male figures, right, and so in that I guess you know, my question to you is what really do you think is the sort of just core things that we get out of reading Caribbean women's literature? Right To see them as not only individuals, as theorists and, you know, scholars, storytellers, historians, etc. But what picture do we get of the region and our experiences from their dimension and from their point of view?

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you for that question, alexander. I think, for Caribbean women writers, what we get is a more complicated region, a more complicated diaspora too, because of, right, these histories of violence, right, these histories of the voice. What does it mean to have a different voice of the Caribbean than what is traditionally there? This is not to say, as well, that, you know, caribbean men's voices, right, weren't important. Rather, what is to say is that, well, there was only one side of the Caribbean that was represented. You know, not the full breadth of the Caribbean. I think Caribbean women's writing gives us a fuller breadth of what is happening.

Speaker 2:

And I think back to Opal Palmer Deeson reading her essay I Must Write. And one of the things that I really appreciate about her work, and also in for a lot of Caribbean women writers, it's the idea that, right, there's this idea of, okay, what is the writer supposed to do? You're supposed to have been reading from your, like two years old, or you know, you're supposed to have this eloquent kind of, you know, erudite education. What Parma Deeson reminds us is that, you know, writing was every day right and it's a matter of you know which everyday experiences are privileged and which are not, and, unfortunately, because of how right these hierarchies of oppression work, you know, caribbean women's voices have been silenced, and so I also think that Caribbean women writers they add right, depending on where you are right, because we're talking about a region and a diaspora, that is right, multilingual, that is multiracial, that's cutting across different class boundaries right, that is significant. So I think Caribbean women writers add to that in kind of having an eye for as a collective around right these marginal and often siphoned experiences.

Speaker 2:

Now, this isn't to say as well that Caribbean women's writing is just one thing, or that Caribbean women writers all agree on different, you know, right, different you know aesthetic or political values, but it's to say that there is a, there is a conversation happening and I think that that question or that kind of mode of conversation and mode of dialogue is something that, for example, the 1980s teaches us, when the first international conference on Caribbean women writers was organized by Selim Kujo, where he's bringing you know, these range of Caribbean women writers to the fore. And then, of course, the publication of the conference proceedings allows us to see those, those different, you know, and divergent kind of analyses and divergent ways of reading literature. And then, of course, you have, out of the cum laude edited collection on Caribbean women and literature edited by Powerboy Davies and Elaine Saveri, fido right, which really galvanized again. But what does the critic do? Right? How can we have criticism with the creative together? Right, and so.

Speaker 2:

And then the formation of that association for Caribbean women writers and dollars, right. So all of these kinds of you know networks and you know ways of pushing for the publication of, the criticism of and the study of Caribbean women's writing, you know, just opens up again these, these conversations, and I think back to right, sylvia winter, you know, discussion of right, the great upheaval of the 1960s, where you have right, independence movements, feminist movements, black power movements happening right. There is an opening there and I think, caribbean women writers expanding that opening, of what it means to be revolutionary, and not revolutionary in the in the grand scheme of things, but revolutionary in the grand scheme of things today.

Speaker 1:

Yes, say our word. I love go, because I was going to break on those books. So I'm glad you definitely situated us in this larger history of the literature, how it's come to be, you know, and something that is definitely studied across the Academy today, but one that you know, I'm not sure everybody knows those kind of underpinnings of, especially when we're considering that To your point. Right, we oftentimes talk about revolution, we talk about the independence movements, and so you're always going to champion the politicians, the activists, in a particular way, right, what, again? And even in my mind, activists is a broad word, but it's not necessarily the like picketer, or you know, it's varied in its iterations, and so thank you so much for highlighting that for us, in the sense that resistance also comes from writing and you know, especially given our Diaspora, the ways that we move and migrate, especially that sort of, you know, if it's like a picket line type of thing, might not always be feasible, but literature is a way that I think Caribbean women across the world connected with each other, as you mentioned, through the conference. Right, there are so many we could really talk about, which is why I'm going to do a separate list on our blog just posting about some of the books and things that people can check out.

Speaker 1:

And we've talked about, you know, people like Jamaica Kincaid. We've talked about Lord, as you touched on Audrey, lord Several, but I know two that are very particular for you Right now are Makita Silverara and Merle Hodge. So I definitely want you to, you know, share with us a bit about their Contributions to Caribbean literature widely, especially, you know, as the budding expert come me, I wait for the book drop. You know, warren, I don't know, I I feel like I don't necessarily have to have the first copy when the book drop, but I at least need to be like top 20 of the list. But you know, we'll see how that goes later on down the road.

Speaker 1:

But oh, share with us why those are, you know, two people for you who definitely need to be highlighted.

Speaker 2:

Yes, no, thank you. Thank you, I like the idea, yes. So Makita Silvera and Merle Hodge, you know, have been right, transformative figures, I believe in Caribbean women's writing. So, for those who don't know, makita Silvera is Jamaican and moves to Canada in the 1960s and she is the co-founder Sister vision black women and women of color press. And she founded this in 1983 and it was a press that was formed to increase the number Black women and women of color who were published in Canada but also worldwide. She was involved in the black power movement, the feminist movements within Toronto, in specific in Canada. And, you know, for Me, one of the things to also understand about her founding of sister vision women of color press is that she's founding this press as a black lesbian woman, right, and and she finds this press, you know, and her house in Toronto and the house also became this organizing space for black queer movements, right, and I think one of the things she adds to Caribbean women's writing is to think about how Caribbean women writers are also Publishers, right, or have the the wherewithal to develop, right, that hey, if we're not being published by these major presses here, why can't we do it ourselves? Right, and so she was a very instrumental as well through the press, to have edited volume on Caribbean women's writing, right on black lesbian writing, and she also published her own Work. This was outside of the press but you know, I heard does that then and as well as remembering G and other stories. So again, she's really contributing to the this understanding of Caribbean life, both in in the region but also internationally, and that's for free, and again, highlighting the need to To engage in discussions around sexuality as central to that, as well as grassroots organizing. One of the works that sister vision we publish is is a work called silence and it is her oral history of 10 Caribbean women workers living in Canada and one of the things that I appreciate about this work is that it extended from her own grassroots organizing.

Speaker 2:

She was a journalist, you know, writing for black newspapers in the 70s, and there was this case called the Seven Jamaican Mothers Case where the Canadian immigration was making plans to deport seven Jamaican mothers relying on their papers that they had children back in Jamaica, and this was part of this domestic scheme. That was complicated but basically, because of the Seven Jamaican Mothers Case, there was a lot of organizing in Toronto to make sure that these mothers were able to stay because the argument that the immigration official was saying is that, oh, these women lied that they had children in Jamaica. Therefore, the possibility of these children coming to Canada, right, the immigration officials didn't want to have that as an option for these women. So a lot of the women were told, not necessarily on their own volition, but they were told by different officials in Jamaica. But, oh, you know, in order for you to get this, don't put that you have children, right.

Speaker 2:

So it wasn't as if they did it on their own, but they were told right, because at the time, right, the question about remittances was important, especially in Jamaica, going through the kind of economic downturns of the 70s. Right, the government needed folks to leave in order to send back remittances to keep the economy afloat. So you know, so there was a whole bunch of that happening. But anyway, long story short, you know, the women were able to stay in Canada and following that, sovera was inspired to continue to do work with domestic workers and, in particular, to hear their stories around their lives in the Caribbean, their experiences in Canada and facing discrimination at the workplace, but also, right, threats of sexual violence, right, how they formed friendships with each other, and so she conducted these oral histories meeting these women at different places.

Speaker 2:

You know, one interview was done in a park right, understanding the dynamics of domestic workers being either a living domestic right where some degree a living domestic having less special autonomy, right to have privacy, versus, you know, a domestic worker who isn't living right. So you know, to understand those dynamics at play. But one of the things she wanted to make sure is that these women's stories were honored and that they were not unencumbered. So she made it a point to write in Paswa right to give the syntax or to understand the different linguistic modes in which these women were speaking from and speaking to. And then, of course, what she's also doing with this work, in publishing these oral histories, was to activate, you know, in Canada, you know, to continue that movement that this doesn't just end with the seven Jamaican mothers, but they're always Caribbean domestic workers who need a voice, who have a voice right, and for the public to realize that Canada is not this benevolent, you know, nice place for everyone. You know, because of right, these, these dynamics around gender, race and citizenship that continue to oppress and silence right. So these women are not, are silenced no more. When you, when you read their oral histories and then just the vulnerability that each of the women have with our silver, you know, I think is a testament to to understand how Caribbean women's writing, right, the political work of Caribbean women's writing and also the form of Caribbean women's writing, that yes, we have fiction, then we have novel poetry and the like. Also there is these oral histories that can actually develop a whole story and pictures and nonfiction in and of themselves and a poetics, and it's also interesting to you, for so, so there that she was also publishing, you know, again, right, women of color, so Indigenous women, were being published as well, as the Latinx women were being published in in sister vision. And you know, right, different form poetry, novel plays, right, if I remember, clearly, lionheart gal, sister vision press published that as well. Even African-American women, nikki Finney, her poetry collection rice was published through sister vision press and they would have these different fundraisers. But sister vision women, where, you know, they would invite folks at Toshi Reagan to come and perform, right, so again, there's these kind of diasporas as well through sister vision and so there is work that is important. And so you know, as again I said, she co-founded this press, you know, with Stephanie Martin, who is her partner as well, from Jamaica. So again, right, this question around sexuality was very important.

Speaker 2:

And Merrill Hodge she's from Trinidad and Tobago and Merrill Hodge I Always look up to bro Hodge like wow, she did, does the amazing work. But she was the first anglophone Caribbean woman to publish in the post-independence Era and she publishes this novel, critcrack monkey. Now Merrill Hodge is also an expert in Francophone literature. She goes on to secondary education in London and then works in In Denmark, I believe you know, looking after children in Denmark and then returns to Trinidad and it's within her travels where she's lighting Critcrack monkey when she publishes it. In 1970 she becomes a literacy advocate and teacher in Trinidad.

Speaker 2:

When the Grenada revolution begins she goes to Grenada and she is working In the education department in Grenada. It's interesting that when I was in Casa de las Americas in Cuba I found a pamphlet that she and Chris Sirly wrote during their time in the Grenada Revolution. And you know, following the fall of the Grenada Revolution she returns to Trinidad and she's part of the you know graphics from this organizing and also a key interlocutor in forming the gender studies at UWE in Trinidad. She publishes another work called for the life of La Tisha and then she recently published this work one day, one day, come with a. I believe this was 2021, she recently published that.

Speaker 2:

But what Merrill Hodge I think adds to Caribbean women's writing right is for me, critcrack monkey becomes a proto feminist, even though Hodge doesn't claim it as a feminist text, that she was writing it as a feminist text, but I think the impact is feminist.

Speaker 2:

That centers the life of this Trinidadian girl named T, growing up in colonial Trinidad, who is Orphan to some degree and is going in between her working class on Tanty and her middle class on on TV, at risk, and trying to find her way through the right, different levels of Respectability, community and the like.

Speaker 2:

And you know I see this as a proto feminist text, not only because she's centering the voice and the experience of a Caribbean girl, but she's also Forming for me different critiques around sovereignty and what happens when we look at the child, you know, in relation to sovereignty and you know one of the things that Hodge is, you know, in her own, like essays of writing, has been around the advocacy of children and Also dismantling these notions of traditional family Networks. That right British colonial education, you know kind of has folks worked in that right the traditional family of the man, the woman, the you know Mary, you know, marriage, that this is the only way that families can be formed. You know there's a whole card room, I think, insights that we could read through. Crick Crack monkey, you know.

Speaker 1:

You brought back so many points, I mean, as you were talking about. So, vera, I thought of our episode on Caribbean migration to Canada, featuring Dr Marlene Gayne there, another one of my really amazing friends, and we talked about the West Indian domestic scheme there, but also just the pinpoints of Gender, of colonialism, right, of Hierarchies and power. That, in my mind, right, if you are Trying to learn about early to mid 20th century Caribbean life, right, and you're picking up a quote, unquote history book, I Mean that in the formulaic, you know traditional sense, right, it may be by like a person from Europe or you know wherever that came and studied the Caribbean, right, a person who may not be as integral to understanding. You know these paradigms that Colonialism has really introduced Within the region, that you know sort of these ways of thinking that have been forced upon us, right. But when we open ourselves up a little bit to Understanding and looking at the literature, right, a lot of these things that you brought up and sharing with us about.

Speaker 1:

So there are and hodge sort of counters that or maybe gives Breath to it in a way, from a particular perspective that isn't always so clear, right, or hasn't always shown up in the same way. So thank you so much for that. We've given several Books. Like you know, I've been taking notes in terms of what to add to our strictly facilibus Of all the ones that you've mentioned. They don't necessarily have to be by hodge or servera, but you know, having a resident expert on an episode, I definitely would love you to share some of your favorite works. It's a question I always asked in terms of you know how we see our history Replicated in popular culture, but definitely from the perspective of Caribbean literature. So do let us know what are the books and novels and poems and things that we should check out.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for that. Thank you for that. I mean, there's just so many. You know we could. We could have a whole.

Speaker 1:

I know.

Speaker 2:

I have to say, you know, one of the works is, if I could write this, in fire by Michelle Cliff are just a door, door, that triangular road. By Paul Marshall, as well as, for me I hear, gina era, who's a Cuban poet, her works in the running, and always were values, the translation, not he's con day I took to Bob Blackwich of Salem. You know important work, revisionist work, of this history, I like to say a little bit trials, and you know the figure of Pittsburgh. You know I also want to To give voice to some other writings as well, that is like contemporary for today. So I think about the work of Sophia Sinclair in her book of poetry, cannibal.

Speaker 2:

I think about Shavani Ramloshan everybody knows I'm a haunting, or everyone knows I'm a haunting. I think about Opal Palmer, adisa I name a name, and that's a beautiful poetry prose and a short story collection. And I also think about folks like Lillian Allen, dub Poets, to think about literature, not just reading from the page but listening as well, and I think that that's where Dub Poets comes to light In our listening, to enhance our reading practice, the plays that are out there I mean, as we said, lionheart Gal is one. I think about Gayitra Bahadur Cooley Woman, as well as Mahaday Das's poetry collection Bone. I think about Simone Tuart, bart Bridge to Beyond, edwidge Danticat, of course, create dangerously. Mayra Santos Febrez, selena, selena, it's just beautiful, the kind of breath again of the work. Dion Brand, the Dove, no Return, and Norbessa Philip as she tries her tongue. So Lady Rio's Awani Le, she's a Cuban poet, who their Pupra Awani Le, and recently I was reading Queenie. Oh my gosh, I love Queenie.

Speaker 1:

Queenie, which will be. They're turning into a Hulu series that will be out in, I think, june. Yes, so even seeing how our literature gets translated to the big screen or the small screen, and all the things, Right, right, candice Cardi Williams.

Speaker 2:

Right, and that's what I think that that's the work of literature, right, literature is always moving and it's multimedia and it can come in so many, right, you know, can start as this book but then, as you said, right, moving on for like a TV series or film or whatever. So I just encourage, you know, folks to read Caribbean women's literature and to read Caribbean women who you may not know, right, and what I mean by that is right to you know. Sometimes I feel we can get into our national, our linguistic, uh silo a bit, but just take the time to read a Caribbean woman writer from right, either another geographic space or another linguistic space. You know that you may not know more about.

Speaker 1:

I definitely want to emphasize that point and really thank you for sharing that and sharing your list with us, warren, because I do find that right, especially when we're sort of doing these deep dives which, even in my own readings of Caribbean literature, I first was like, yeah, let me read all of the Jamaican women's literature as a Jamaican right. So, to the point that you're emphasizing here, not only is there so much else to learn when we're, you know, expanding outward, but there are a lot of parallels to make, right. There are a lot of ways we can see the stories similarly and understand. You know, may have never been to Granada, but you know you can now draw something a little bit differently about their culture or their history or experiences and even say, wow, I never considered putting Hodge in the same conversation as Adisa, or, you know, the list can go on, as we've definitely mentioned. But I do definitely want to thank you for raising that point and it's a tremendous one to make right.

Speaker 1:

I think we should all really be reading Caribbean literature all the time, but, you know, especially for this month alone, if you are looking for a little bit of a way to shake up your studies, definitely check out some of these lists that I will add to our Strictly Facts syllabus for you all and expand your knowledge, expand your awareness of who we are, of the stories that have made us where we come from. So with that, I want to thank you so much, warren, for being on the show again, for sharing a breath. Right, I'm going to go in and add all of these to our syllabus and, you know, also check out several of them myself that I haven't read and listened to to your point. You know, literature is not just something that is read. But this was an amazing conversation and I really thank you so much for sharing.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, alexandra. And you know, as you were telling, oh yeah, you know, evelyn Trio. You know, leila Wachee, leila Wachee, leila Wachee. Desiree Bailey, I did, you know like.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Desiree was on the show. Yes, you know.

Speaker 2:

You know, so I you know and I just did thanks for that, as you said, that breath, that you know these scenes of works, of experiences, multimedia. You know engagements with Caribbean literature. I wish everybody a good. And you know women's history month as well, as you know international women's day as well. You know we are in some time and I think that a lot of right Caribbean women writers have laid a path for us to imagine and to materially work in different ways. You, Jordan, hello, but yes, beautiful.

Speaker 1:

I will end this, our episode, on that note. So again, thank you so much, lauren, and for all of our listeners. Till next time. Little more. Thanks for tuning in to Strictly Facts. Visit StrictlyFactsPodcastcom for more information from each episode. Follow us at Strictly Facts pod on Instagram and Facebook and at Strictly Facts PD on Twitter.

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