Contributors include: Robert Pinsky, Derek Walcott, Elizabeth Alexander, Amiri Baraka, Martin Espada, Terrance Hayes, Valzyna Mort, Sonia Sanchez, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Patricia Smith, Saul Williams, Staceyann Chin, and 88 others.
Imagine a night of a hundred poets reading their work to an audience of intensely engaged, responsive, and lively people. Imagine the reading taking place under a tent pitched on a grassy lawn that overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Imagine the sun setting, imagine the scent of curried goat and fried fish wafting through the air, imagine the heat, imagine the cool tongue of wind off the sea, imagine a stage like an ancient shrine with a podium artfully pieced together with bamboo, strips of still green wood, leaves, twine, and shells. Imagine one hundred poets, some whose names you know and some you have never heard of, stepping onto the stage, opening their mouths and hearts, and singing out poems of such variety, complexity, beauty, and passion.
This is what a poetry reading at the Calabash International Literary Festival is like, and this new anthology provides readers a taste of what this festival offers year after year.
Edited by Kwame Dawes and Colin Channer, two of the founders of the festival, this is an exciting example of Calabash's commitment to create a festival that is diverse, inspirational, earthy, and daring each May. This anthology is at once a celebration of ten years of a remarkable literary event as it is a gesture of love to seek ways to continue to fund and support this festival for the future. All profits from this publication will go toward the running of the festival, which remains free and open to the public.
Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and raised in Jamaica. He is the author of many books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, criticism, and drama. His debut novel, She's Gone (Akashic), won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He is Distinguished Poet in Residence at the University of South Carolina where he directs the SC Poetry Initiative.
Colin Channer is the founder and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust. He was born in Jamaica, but has lived in the United States since his late teens. Known primarily as a novelist, he is the Newhouse Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at Wellesley College near Boston, Massachusetts.