Workshops and Presentations
Musings of a Volcano Griot
The Montserrat volcano received its first celebrated publicity in 1789 when Olaudah Equiano declared it “a celebrated curiosity” in Chapter V1 of his best selling book. Enslaved on Montserrat in the eighteenth century where he later purchased his freedom, he wrote of his visit to a hill overlooking Plymouth in Montserrat called “Brimstone Hill. He described “cliffs of great flakes of brimstone occasioned by the steam of various little ponds, which were then boiling naturally in the earth. Some of these ponds were as white as milk, some quite blue, and many others of different colours”.
Like Equiano all of us on Montserrat are volcano griots, turning, twisting our stories like clouds of ash to all parts of the globe telling the truth of the Soufriere Hills.
Baroness Floella Benjamin
Join Baroness Floella Benjamin as she takes you on the most significant journeys – both literal and figurative – that she has made in her jam-packed life. Hear the key lessons she has learned along the way and be warmed and inspired by her encouragement to others to follow in her footsteps or take their own route.
Ann Marie Dewar
What does poetry written in dialect accomplish and why do those same ideas rendered in standard English fall short? In this talk, Ms Dewar will explore this question with examples from her own and others’ poetry and invite audience discussion of the topic.
Memory, Loss, and Tourist Attractions
What happens when the places you stayed in and played as a child were also sites of conflict and loss, and today are tourist attractions? Tony Eprile will read from his fiction addressing these issues and also discuss them from his perspective as a South African who has lived on three continents. He will also discuss some methods of writing about family memory in both fiction and creative nonfiction (memoir).
Professor Sir Howard Fergus
Emergence of a Volcano Literature
In the present eruption era, writings come in prose and poetry from home and abroad. The claim to a disaster literature is not frivolous even when one confines consideration to the volcano. One makes no claim for quality. When we sift this sizeable body of Montserratian writings, there will be chaff, but there will be grains, golden and energising and the disaster barn will be filling. There is a veritable genre aptly designated Montserrat disaster literature even judging from the volcano alone.
Llewellyn MacIntosh ‘Short Pants’
Come Write the Calypso –
A Workshop session designed to craft creative strategy and technique. This three-hour long presentation would be beneficial to calypsonians, song-writers, poets, composers and others interested in verse writing.
Andrew J. Skerritt
Writing and Returning: Thawing Freeze Dried Memory
Writing and returning are symbiotic. Returning is compulsory in order to write. Returning compels one to write. This workshop will examine ways of returning – physical, literary and memory – and ways of writing, and how the one informs and influences the other in the context of the 20th anniversary of the volcanic eruption.
This workshop invites authors to consider the range of publishing opportunities available to them, the nature of literary markets, readerships and editorial focus. The workshop looks specifically at the situation of writers in the Caribbean and deals with such issues as subject matter, cultural reference and language choices through the question: Who are you writing for?
E.A or Archie? The Legacy of Archie Markham’s Drawing Room
The presentation argues that what makes Archie Markham’s work of lasting value is its abundant imagination and its integrity in refusing to accept any easy sources of identity. His work is a rich source of images of Montserrat, but resolutely resists the temptations of folksiness; it explores the resources of experimental literary modernism but resists solemnity and self-importance; it deals incisively with the subject of race in the UK but refuses any connection with sentimental or professional “Blackness”. The presentation looks at how Markham negotiated his position as a Montserratian who lived for most of his life outside Montserrat and uses his image of “taking the drawing room through the customs” to explore his unique contribution in fiction, poetry and autobiographical writing.
A Career in Film and Television’: Q&A
Keith Taylor will talk about his 30 year career in film and television as a writer, director, cameraman and editor as well as the creator of many hit children’s TV shows. Questions are welcome.