It's such a surprise to see Caribbean writing getting its dues on BBC Radio 4 right now. With Caribbean writers picking up major awards in the UK and America, and Commonwealth Writers working with Peepal Tree and Akashic Books to support homegrown talent, we seem to be at a turning point. For too long, Caribbean literature was forgotten by bigger publishers, and the readers who wanted Caribbean books were underserved. Here in the office, we miss the familiar Caribbean Voices show, which connected those of us in the Caribbean and those of us in Britain. We hope that this is a sign that Caribbean writers will get the credit they're due.
In the third and latest episode of Writing a New Caribbean, Trinidadian writer and actor Elisha Efua Bartels talks to novelists and poets across the English-speaking Caribbean about what they see as their literary heritage, whether the prominent writers that have emerged from the region in the past have influenced them, and the increased diversity of voices coming out of the region today. In interviews with Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad), Vladimir Lucien (St Lucia), Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad), Colin Robinson (Trinidad) and Karen Lord (Barbados), she explores the new directions writers are taking in their work.
Featured readings include:
Tanya Shirley: 'Said by a DJ at an Uptown Dance' from The Merchant of Feathers (Peepal Tree Press)
Colin Robinson: title poem from You Have You Father Hard Head (Peepal Tree Press)
Vladimir Lucien: 'Mi Jean' from Sounding Ground (Peepal Tree Press)
Kevin Jared Hosein: extract from The Repenters (Peepal Tree Press)
Karen Lord: extract from The Best of All Possible Worlds (Jo Fletcher Books)
Barbara Jenkins: extract from Sic Transit Wagon (Peepal Tree Press)
Listen to 'The Work Words Do' online now.
The last two episodes had contributions from Tanya Shirley, Kei Miller, Millicent Graham, Sharon Millar, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw and Andre Bagoo, as well as Marlon James.