What does one get when one combines ivory, silk threads, red sandalwood, dog skin and tortoise shell? No, it is not a part of any ritual or ingredients out of a horror flick. They are the raw materials for the traditional Japanese plucked lute - shamisen.
Jamaican poet Kei Miller has quite a repertoire under his pen - novels, collections of short stories, essays and poetry. His 2014 book, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, won for Miller the prestigious Forward Prize for Best Collection.
Have you ever had a conversation that didn't go the way you wanted or didn't have the outcome you played out in your head? Well, I had one of those the other day - a conversation with someone I was meeting for the first time.