Vladimir Lucien is UWI's Writer-in-Residence
Award-winning St Lucian poet, actor and critic, Vladimir Lucien, is the 2016 Writer-in-Residence in the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. Lucien assumed duties in January and he will be with the Department of Literatures in English until May 31.
On Sunday, he will be a part of Love Affair with Literature, the department's marquee event at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre on the Mona campus.
Lucien is a talented young poet who brings a finely honed artistic sensibility to his probing and introspective and incisive interrogation of Caribbean experience. His writing has been published in The Caribbean Review of Books, Wasafiri, Small Axe, PN Review, BIM magazine, Washington Square Review, Caribbean Beat and other journals, as well as an anthology of Caribbean poetry and prose titled Beyond Sangre Grande, edited by Cyril Dabydeen.
He won the first prize in the poetry category of the Small Axe Literary Prize 2013, and is the winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for his debut collection, Sounding Ground, published by Peepal Tree Press in May 2014. Some of Lucien's poems have been translated into Dutch and published in the literary journal, Tortuca, with forthcoming translations in Italian in El Ghibli. He is also the co-editor of the anthology Sent Lisi: Poems and Art of St Lucia which was published in November 2014, and the screenwriter of the documentary The Merikins, which premiered at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2013.
He is currently teaching a course in writing poetry. While at UWI, Lucien will mentor and support emerging writers, deliver a public lecture and lead workshops, including one for high-school teachers and students.
Musicians ready for Simply Myrna
Ahead of this year's Simply Myrna show, rehearsals are at fever pitch, with some of Jamaica's first-class musicians perfecting every note. For the first time, it will be held in the gardens of Devon House tomorrow, Saturday, March 5, beginning with a sumptuous cocktail at 7 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m. Returning as distinguished patrons are Sir Kenneth and Lady Hall.
Also returning, as arranger and conductor is Ralph Holding Jr, while drummer Desi Jones has been appointed musical director for the team of accomplished musicians consisting of pianist Marjorie Whylie, guitarists Rupert Bent and Kenroy 'Shortman' Mullings, saxophonist Ian Hird, bass guitarist Michael Fletcher, Evrol Wray on trombone, Chris McDonald on keyboards and vocals, and trumpeter Vivian Scott.
The approximately two-and-a-half-hour production will see the band backing the leading lady for the night, Myrna Hague Bradshaw, along with her guest artistes, the high-energy global superstar Richie Stephens and the charismatic vocalist and keyboardist Harold Davis.
Hague says patrons can expect a musical feast and a spectacular opening for the sixth annual show.
"Moving from the more intimate setting of a concert hall to the open-air ambiance of the Devon House gardens, my musicians and I have come up with an exceptional repertoire of songs in keeping with the grandeur of the historic venue," Hague said.
Executive producer behind the successful Simply Myrna series, Lennon Crooks, is well known for his professional production skills also in the United States and Canada. Special decor by Zcrew Event will enhance the outdoor setting.
Sponsors include The Gleaner Company Limited, Grace Foods Limited, Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), KLAS ESPN Radio, Caledonia Outdoor Advertising, Labels and Supplies, Stage Records, Devon House, KOOL 97 FM, Music Mart, The Piano House, Campari and True Tone.
In addition to the Sonny Bradshaw Foundation, part proceeds from Simply Myrna 2016 will also be presented to the McCam Child Care Development Centre.
Bob Andy To Give Reggae Talk on March 8
The Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona, continues its annual Reggae Talks in March with Bob Andy, speaking on 'Stages on My Journey'. The talk takes place on Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m., in Lecture Theatre 3, Faculty of Medical Sciences.
The public is invited to attend and admission is free. The Reggae Talks, which will be given every Tuesday in March, are part of an annual programme of events highlighting the innovative work of the Department of Literatures in English
2016 school band contest about to begin
The third season of the all island school band competition, Jamaica's Best School Band, starts next Thursday at the St Andrew Technical High School, in Kingston, with the first of the two preliminary round events.
Five of the 10 contestants will be performing for two judges, bass guitarist Lloyd Parks of Lloyd Parks and We the People Band; and Joseph Graham, bass guitar player and band leader of Warrior Love.
The scores accumulated next Thursday will determine which of the schools will move on to the quarter-final round on March 27 at the Edna Manley College of The Visual & Performing Arts.
Confirmed for this year's competition are Jamaica College, Alpha Boys, Herbert Morrison Technical, Cornwall College, Belair High, Cross Keys High, Christiana High, Oberlin High, Donald Quarrie High and defending champions St Andrew Technical. One of the highlights for this season is the introduction of the primary school category, JBSB Juniors. It will feature four primary schools from across the Corporate Area. They will play off in a straight final, which will take place at the April 17 grand finale at The Edna Manley College.
There will be sectional prizes for Most Disciplined Band, Band with Best Image and Most Improved Band.
"It is my hope that if they (the students) decide to pursue a career in the music industry, this competition will help them to take a more professional approach to what they are doing," said Rayven Amani, the founder and coordinator of the competition.