Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
The Poetry Society of Jamaica wrapped up another year of monthly fellowships on Tuesday night with Re-Verse, reflecting on another 11-month run of gatherings.
Fruit of 23 years of literary labour, a Musgrave Medal and citation, were on display in the performance area of the amphitheatre, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew. And the night's featured poet, D'bi Young, was also part of the fellowship's longstanding tradition, a second-generation poet from its ranks, who was the featured poet at the May anniversary gathering.
Part of the fellowship's format is feedback from the audience on poems read in the open mic segment, which precedes the guest poet. While this is not normally the case for a particular night's guest, Young invited and urged on the interaction.
Her delivery of Mikey Smith's 'Mi Cyaan Believe It' was powerful and, continuing with her material, Young instructed "don't call me a West Indian/I am an African". Drum and wind instruments provided accompaniment from the lower steps of the amphitheatre, Young sometimes going briefly into song.
Part of Dennis Brown's Revolution was the basis of her examination of what it entails, Young going on to ask for those who love in the context of selflessness, honesty and courage. "Forgive me for not having loved you fearlessly," Young said.
There was an intense piece about blood, Young explaining afterwards in response to a query that in writing it she was thinking what could she say to her community about shame.
At the close, host Yashika Graham said that it had been a good year for the Poetry Society. Among the guests have been Oku Onuora, Mutabaruka, Jean Binta Breeze, Amina Blackwood Meeks and Owen 'Blakka' Ellis. Writer Wayne Brown's life was celebrated in September.
The 2013 season of fellowships begins on the last Tuesday of January.