Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2017, reader – Yashika Graham

Photo credit: Pride Ja Magazine

 

Yashika Graham is a Jamaican writer and poet. Her poems have been accepted by magazines including The Caribbean Writer, POUi, Cordite Review, Spillway and Moko Magazine.

She has covered arts and culture for Susumba Magazine and read in Jamaica, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Panama.

She is an alumna of the Drawing Room Project’s 2016 Writers’ Retreat under the tutelage of Prof. Emeritus Edward Baugh, as well as the Kahini Writers Retreat. A gold medal and Noteworthy Writer award recipient in the 2016 JCDC Creative Writing competition, Graham is working on her first collection, and in 2016, released a short film presenting the poem, Directions From The Border. She is an executive member of the Poetry Society of Jamaica and has hosted its monthly poetry fellowships.

 

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Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2017 – Play, Daddy

Written and directed by fabian thomas (sic), in 10 minutes Daddy tells the story of a father (acted by Darian Reid)  who reappears after a 10 year absence, seeking forgiveness from and a relationship with his son (played by Jamaal McKnight).

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Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2017 – MC and play producer, Fabian Thomas

British by birth, Jamaican by parentage and at heart, Fabian Thomas has been an artistic/creative director, theatre practitioner, performing artist, social and behaviour change communications specialist, trainer/facilitator, HIV & AIDS educator and life coach.

Trained at The University of the West Indies and Fordham University in the USA, fabian (sic) has made his mark across the arts as a writer, especially in the fields of poetry and theatre. Painting with words, he gently draws his audience into worlds they may not have experienced before. Powerful and lyrical, his works have garnered awards both for his published literary pieces as well as staged productions.

He has successfully created quiet, intimate pieces and developed original works for stage and screen, using performances as a platform to enlighten his audience while giving a voice to the stories of Jamaica. He believes in the transformative power of the arts, and time and time again proves it with every new work he has created as a writer. fabian (sic) is a Calabash Writers’ Workshop Fellow and is currently working on a collected works of poetry. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the performing arts group Tribe Sankofa, sole trader of his own company called Sankofa Arts & Facilitation, and adjunct lecturer a the Institute of Caribbean Studies, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

fabian (sic) was one of the readers at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta in February 2012. and in 2015 he was MC and his 10 minute play, Devon, was staged. For Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta he returns as MC and his 10 minute play, Daddy, will be staged.

 

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Two Seasons Talking Trees 2017 reader – Roland Watson-Grant

Jamaican advertising creative director, Roland Watson-Grant, is making his name as a short story writer and novelist. In 2011, his writing was introduced to the world stage when his short story, Sketcher, was named an international prize winner in the Annual Lightship Literary Prizes held in Hull, England. Another short fiction entry, Home Run, was longlisted in the competition.

After Roland’s reading at the award ceremony in Hull, a London publisher from the audience offered him a book deal to turn Sketcher into a full length novel. The novel was published in 2013 to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star Award. Sketcher has transcended cultural lines and language barriers, having been translated into Turkish and published in Istanbul in 2014 under the title, “Eskizci”, with a Spanish version called “El Nino Que Dibujaba un Mundo Nuevo” published in Madrid in 2015. The sequel, entitled Skid, was published by Alma Books in 2014. Both books are distributed by Alma Books, Bloomsbury New York as well as Penguin RandomHouse, Canada.

In March 2017, Roland’s short story, Cursing Mrs Murphy, was shortlisted by a panel of international judges for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017 in a record year that saw more than 6,000 entries. The winners of the regional and overall international prize will be announced this summer.

Roland proudly refers to Two Seasons Talking Trees as his Jamaican “Alma Mater” as his appearance on the Talking Trees stage in February 2012 was his first reading in public in Jamaica. He read again at Talking Trees in 2014 and will once again delight the audience on May 27, 2017. Roland says he is “looking forward to coming home” to Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta.

Jamaican advertising creative director, Roland Watson-Grant, is making his name as a short story writer and novelist. In 2011, his writing was introduced to the world stage when his short story, Sketcher, was named an international prize winner in the Annual Lightship Literary Prizes held in Hull, England. Another short fiction entry, Home Run, was longlisted in the competition.

After Roland’s reading at the award ceremony in Hull, a London publisher from the audience offered him a book deal to turn Sketcher into a full length novel. The novel was published in 2013 to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star Award. Sketcher has transcended cultural lines and language barriers, having been translated into Turkish and published in Istanbul in 2014 under the title, “Eskizci”, with a Spanish version called “El Nino Que Dibujaba un Mundo Nuevo” published in Madrid in 2015.The sequel entitled: Skid, was published by Alma Books in 2014. Both books are distributed by Alma Books, Bloomsbury New York as well as Penguin RandomHouse, Canada.

 

In March 2017, Roland’s short story, Cursing Mrs. Murphy, was shortlisted by a panel of international judges for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017 in a record year that saw more than 6,000 entries. The winners of the regional and overall international prize will be announced this summer.

 

Roland proudly refers to Two Seasons Talking Trees as his Jamaican “Alma Mater” as his appearance on the Talking Trees stage in February 2012 was his first reading in public in Jamaica. He read again at Talking Trees in 2014 and will once again delight the audience on May 27, 2017. Roland says he is “looking forward to coming home” to Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta.Jamaican advertising creative director, Roland Watson-Grant, is making his name as a short story writer and novelist. In 2011, his writing was introduced to the world stage when his short story, Sketcher, was named an international prize winner in the Annual Lightship Literary Prizes held in Hull, England. Another short fiction entry, Home Run, was longlisted in the competition.

After Roland’s reading at the award ceremony in Hull, a London publisher from the audience offered him a book deal to turn Sketcher into a full length novel. The novel was published in 2013 to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star Award. Sketcher has transcended cultural lines and language barriers, having been translated into Turkish and published in Istanbul in 2014 under the title, “Eskizci”, with a Spanish version called “El Nino Que Dibujaba un Mundo Nuevo” published in Madrid in 2015.The sequel entitled: Skid, was published by Alma Books in 2014. Both books are distributed by Alma Books, Bloomsbury New York as well as Penguin RandomHouse, Canada.

 

In March 2017, Roland’s short story, Cursing Mrs. Murphy, was shortlisted by a panel of international judges for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017 in a record year that saw more than 6,000 entries. The winners of the regional and overall international prize will be announced this summer.

 

Roland proudly refers to Two Seasons Talking Trees as his Jamaican “Alma Mater” as his appearance on the Talking Trees stage in February 2012 was his first reading in public in Jamaica. He read again at Talking Trees in 2014 and will once again delight the audience on May 27, 2017. Roland says he is “looking forward to coming home” to Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta.

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Two Seasons Talking Trees 2017 reader – Malachi Smith

Malachi Smith is an accomplished Jamaican writer of poetry and plays, and an actor, performing in his own plays and other productions in live theatre and on radio and television. He is a fellow of the University of Miami’s Mitchner Caribbean Writer’s Institute where he studied poetry under Lorna Goodison and play writing under Fred D’Aguilar.

He was one of the readers at the first Talking Trees in May 2011, appeared again at the second Talking Trees in 2012, and returns to the Talking Trees stage on May 27, 2017. Malachi’s earlier appearances include being the headliner in 2004 at the International Dub-Poetry Festival in Toronto and in 2008 at the Love-In Festival in Miami with Richie Heavens and other greats. He also made three appearances in New York, and toured St. Kitts and Nevis in the summer of 2000 to rave reviews. More recent appearances include: 2012 – International Poetry Festival of Colombia, Medellin, Colombia; 2014 – International Poetry Festival of Nicaragua; 2015 – International Poetry Festival of Taiwan; 2016 – Poetry Africa, Durban, South Africa; 2017 – Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverly Reading Festival, Broward Community College; and 501 Café, New York.

His awards include the 2016 Akamedia Award in the Reggae Category for his poem How Yuh Mek Har and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Best Adult Poet in 2014, following earlier JCDC awards: 2009 most outstanding writer in the poetry and 2006 four Literary Awards for poetry and playwriting. Also in 2006 he won the Joe Higgs Music Award for dub poet of the year, and was nominated for the dub poet of the year in the Reggaesoca Awards, and for the poet of the year in the Martin’s International Music Awards. He has been a nominee in the IRAWMA Award for Best Poet (2012 -2016).

The documentary film, Dub Poetry: the life and work of Malachi Smith, premiered in 2007.

Malachi’s CDs include Hail to Jamaica, released in 2011; Scream, released in 2014; and his latest 2017 release, Wiseman. He is awaiting publication of two new poetry collections, The Gathering and Stony Gut, and is currently writing a series of short stories.

An alumnus of Florida International University, Miami-Dade College and Jamaica School of Drama, Malachi was one of the founding members of Poets in Unity, a critically acclaimed ensemble that brought dub-poetry to the forefront of reggae music in the late 1970s, and carried it forward for a decade.

In addition to being a poet, Malachi served in the police force in Jamaica and in Florida, retiring from the latter in 2016. He is a board member of the Jamaica Ex-police Association of South Florida, as well as the Caribbean Education Foundation; and the Honorable Louise Bennett-Coverly Heritage Council.

 

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Two Seasons Talking Trees 2017 reader – Olive Senior

Olive Senior is the prizewinning author of 17 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and children’s literature. Born and brought up in Jamaica, she now lives in Canada. The Caribbean nevertheless remains the focus of her work.

Her 2015 collection of stories, The Pain Tree, won the English Le Grand Prix Litteraire de l’Association de ecrivains de la Caraibe 2017 (Association of Caribbean Writers Grand Literary Prize 2017) and the 2016 Bocas Lit Fest Prize for Caribbean Literature. In 2015, she won the Bocas non-fiction prize for Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, a retelling of one of the greatest feats of engineering from a largely unknown perspective.

Her many other awards include the first Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1987 for her book Summer Lightning, and the 2004 Musgrave gold medal of the Institute of Jamaica for her contribution to Jamaican heritage. Her poetry book, Over the Roofs of the World, was a finalist for Canada’s Governor-General’s Award in 2005.

Ms. Senior’s work is taught internationally. Her poetry book, Gardening in the Tropics, is currently on the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination syllabus for Caribbean schools, and her children’s book, Anna Carries Water, is among the 20 books recommended by New York City Reads 365 for grade 1.

She can be heard reading her poetry on the Poetry Archive. She is the subject of the book, Olive Senior, by Denise deCaires Narain in the Writers and their Work series, UK: Northcote Publishers 2011.

Olive lectures and conducts writing workshops internationally and is on the faculty of the Humber School for Writers, Humber College, Toronto.

She will be featured at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 27 and lead the workshop for writers on Sunday, May 28, at Two Seasons Guest House.

 

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Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2017 – MUTAMBA Designs

Jacqueline Cohen-Hope

MUTAMBA Designs was borne out of Jacquel Cohen-Hope’s travels as a flight attendant. Her journeys throughout the “Mercados del Artisinias” of Central and South America introduced her to the beautiful weaves of the indigenous people. Jacqueline, also known as Amba, continues to collect soft cotton and silk fabrics. She travels quite frequently to North and West Africa and India in her search for cloth and ethnic accessories.

 

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UWI Dept. of Literatures in English teams up with Two Seasons for Talking Trees 2017

Taking literature beyond the campus is one of the strategies adopted by the Department of Literatures in English at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies with a view to broadening its reach and sparking interest in literature as an important field of study. The Department will therefore once again partner with the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund (GLMF) and Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach to present The Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 27, with workshops on Sunday, May 28. The partnership is a continuation of the collaboration that was established for the 2015 staging of the Fiesta.

Held on the expansive grounds of Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, the Fiesta offers a formidable line-up of established and emerging writers, which will be interspersed with musical offerings by multi-instrumentalist Ras Katri. The day’s activities will include a fashion show by Mutamba Designs.

The 2017 Fiesta will feature acclaimed writer, Olive Senior. She will share the stage with the newly named Jamaican Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, who was the featured reader in 2015. Celebrated dub poet Mutabaruka, will add his special flavor to the line up of readers, which includes Malachi Smith, Roland Watson-Grant, Margaret Bernal, Ann-Margaret Lim, Yashika Graham and Jean Lowrie-Chin. Fabian Thomas’ 10 minute play, Daddy, will be staged. Patrons can continue to expect the family friendly atmosphere as there will be a children’s programme slated for the morning.

To promote community and communication skills development, leading up to the Fiesta the GLMF is sponsoring a competition for students in four selected secondary schools: Tacius Golding, Wolmer’s Boys, Bog Walk High, and Newell High. The objective of the competition is to create opportunities for new talent to emerge. In each school, guided by a teacher, the students will create videos, poetry, short stories, music or art that will tell their story of The Real Jamaica. The winning entry will receive a US$100 prize, with the possibility of the work being presented at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta. The competition started on February 1 and closed on April 30. The Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund was set up at The UWI in memory of the late Gloria Lyn, a former lecturer in English at The UWI, to raise the visibility of literature. There is a US$500 prize presented annually to the student with the best grade in any of the second year West Indian Literature courses. The 2016 winner, Cornel Bogle, and the 2015 winner, Francina Cousins will be reading at Talking Trees

With part sponsorship from the Jamaica Tourist Board and Cran Wata, admission to Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 27 is free; however contributions to the GLMF will be accepted. There will be a small charge for participation in the workshops on writing, music and fashion on Sunday, May 28 (registration is required for participation in the workshops). Return bus transportation between Kingston and Treasure Beach via Knutsford Express is available for Saturday, May 27, departing Kingston at 6:30 a.m. Tickets may be purchased at the UWI Bookshop, or call Janet at 3406068. The cost of the round trip is J$3,500 and J$3,000 for seniors 65 and over.

For further information, contact info@2seasonsguesthouse.com, litsengmona@gmail.com or telephone 571-0818.

 

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Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2017

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“Coming home to 2 Seasons Guest House”

 

Sharing with you a post on Trip Advisor by Two Seasons Guest House guest, Jackie D. The photos of the sunrise and sunset are hers too, taken at her favourite hang out spot.

 

 

 

 

 

“Coming home to 2 Seasons Guest House”

Recently [January 2016] I spent 10 days in St Elizabeth Jamaica in Treasure Beach . This was my second time visiting Jamaica and my second stay at 2 Seasons Guest House. I could hardly wait to arrive at 2 Seasons because of my wonderful stay during my first visit. I felt as if I were coming home! My very pleasant, comfortable and large room was waiting for me on the east side of the guest house where I was able to watch the sunrise from my balcony every morning. I felt as if I had my own studio apartment!

I enjoyed the delicious breakfasts prepared by Mrs. Crowe that included my choice of breakfast foods that were served at the times that I requested . MS Christine and her staff are clearly committed to making sure their guests are accommodated during their stay. Wi fi is not available in the guest rooms but free Wi fi is available in the guest house common areas.

There is an outdoor pool and bar area for swimming and relaxing while you are deciding which parts of Treasure Beach you are gong to explore.The guesthouse grounds are beautifully landscaped and offer many pleasant, shady areas for relaxing, having conversations and just communing with nature.

I really enjoyed being able to take a 10 minute walk to the beach where I met and interacted with people from the community, visitors from other countries, folk that have made Treasure Beach their home after retiring and vacationers like myself.

Because of the peaceful, friendly and welcoming accommodations at 2 Seasons Guest House, It was difficult for me to end my stay there and return to Michigan but I know that when I return next year (and I do plan to do so!) my 2 Seasons family will be waiting for me with opened arms, good service and a great time! Meet me there and we can have a 2 Seasons margarita together!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are good rooms and offer great views of the surrounding community.

 

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