Guyana on my Mind

September 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm (Uncategorized)

Last week I went to the annual meeting of Pakaraima, an organization of Guyanese and Caribbean Canadian writers and poets. I’ve been involved in the production of two books by Guyanese writers, and one of them invited me to the meeting.

My awareness of Guyana began, like many people, with the madness and  destruction of Jonestown, the so-called People’s Temple led by Jim Jones. But, as many people have pointed out, they people at Jonestown were all Americans; most Guyanese were unaware of the goings on there.

So the meeting featured a number of Guyanese Canadian authors reading poems and selections from their works. Some good, some bad, some ugly. The work was often autobiographical, touching  on the immigrant both in Canada and elsewhere. As the evening wore on, the programme got further and further behind schedule, alcohol flowed a little more freely, and a more pronounced nationalist tone became evident.

But good food, and some good literature are not a bad way to spend an evening.

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Should also mention the two books I worked on.

Teacher Ram’s Fascination with Fire by Ken Ramphal and Sharda by Julie K Jailall. Both short story collections.

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