Colin Channer resigns from Calabash board

Published: Thursday | January 10, 2013 Comments 0
Colin Channer
Colin Channer

Colin Channer, noted Jamaican author, founder, and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust, has resigned.

Penning a heartfelt resignation to the board, Channer wrote of his 'joy' at being a part of the many successes of the Calabash movement.

The author spoke about the role of leadership and the dream that leaders should pass into a state of being obsolete because they had done their jobs well.

"None of these festivals have come close to matching our success. And this is not a boast. It is a simple truth ..." Channer wrote in reference to Calabash's instigation of similar ventures Caribbeanwide.

Channer wrote movingly in his inimitable style about the first time the event was held and the strange descent of butterflies for the duration of that first festival.

"When the festival was over, they were gone."

In 2010, Channer had called it quits as an active member of the board. Just a little over two years later, he has called it a day entirely.

Justine Henzell, a founding member, had nothing but praises for Channer's involvement with the marquee Calabash Literary Festival.

"Kwame and I are very grateful to have had the opportunity to share with Colin his vision and the mission of Calabash and are happy to carry on the work we all started together in 2001," said Henzell.

Bbob Marley with a pen

Channer was made popular by his 1998 novel Waiting in Vain. Interestingly, his use of phrases from the work of a great from another genre, earned him the title 'Bob Marley with a pen'.

Waiting in Vain was not his first work; that came two years earlier with Soulfires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence.

Soulfires was a stirring conglomeration of short stories, highlighting Channer's penchant for social issues related to black people.

In 2000, Channer released Got To Be Real, with the novella I'm Still Waiting. The novel was another very good work and showed Channer's growth. It would not compare to what he produced next.

Satisfy My Soul, with its unique take on black relationships and ideas of love, went almost viral. The reference to a mango as part of foreplay, highlighted Channer's ability to connect with his roots while taking on issues of a global nature.

Passing Through came in 2004, before Iron Balloons (2006) and The Girl with the Golden Shoes, a year later.


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