A book launch celebrating the release of a limited edition of WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, volume 7/2014, edited by Lynn Sweeting, will be held at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas on Thursday, March 27, at 7pm, and the book loving public is invited.
Seven poets will read at the event, including noted poet Marion Bethel, author of Bouganvillea Ringplay (Peepal Tree Press 2010), Lelawattee Manoo Rahming, 2001 Commonwealth Prize Winner and author of “Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems (Proverse, Hong Kong), noted author Patricia Glinton Meicholas, Small Axe Poetry Prize winner Sonia Farmer, and poet and WomanSpeak founding editor and publisher Lynn Sweeting of The Bahamas, and new voice Attilah Springer of Trinidad. Contributing artist Carla Campbell of The Bahamas will show her paintings at the event. A limited number of printed copies of the journal will be available for purchase.
“Voices of Dissent: Women Writing and Painting to Transform the Culture,” is the theme for this new collection from WomanSpeak Books. Editor Lynn Sweeting of The Bahamas gathers together another small but powerful collection of poetry, fiction, fairy tales, essays, and art in a full colour, paperback edition designed by Julia Ames and featuring the painting “The Butterfly Effect: The Duchess” by acclaimed Bahamas painter Claudette Dean on the cover. In addition to works by the noted and prizewinning poets reading at the launch, also included in the new collection are well known, noted author, poet, editor and teacher, Opal Palmer Adisa (Jamaica), Vahni Capildeo (Trinidad) whose collection of poems “Dark and Unaccustomed Words” was long-listed for the 3013 OCM Bocas Prize, Vashti Bowlah, (Trinidad) who was shortlisted for the 2013 Inauguaral Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize, and Daniel Boodoo-Fortune, painter and poet, (Trinidad), winner of the First Prize for Poetry in the 2012 Small Axe Literary Competition.
Full colour art by a small but powerful group of contemporary women painters is once again a prominent feature of the new WomanSpeak journal. At the center of the collected art are Claudette Dean’s paintings from her collection, “The Buttefly Effect, four achingly beautiful portraits of women, each one crowned with enormous flowers that seem to emerge from the tops of their heads, like the power and beauty of the feminine creative imagination when it springs from the womanish mind. Other contributing painters include Danielle Boodoo Fortune of Trinidad, new voice Cher Corbin of Barbados, and the radical feminist painter Maria Maria Acha-Kutsccher of Mexico, and Bahamian Carla Campbell who will show two of her paintings included in issue 2014 at the launch.
Founded in The Bahamas in the 1990s, revived in 2010, WomanSpeak began as a personal labour of love for founding editor Lynn Sweeting and a few local writer friends in Nassau, a forum where they could publish their own creative work. In the new era the journal began to attract the attention of international writers and painters. The creative work of 30 women writers and painters from across the Caribbean and the world make up the new collection.
Today WomanSpeak exists to provide a forum for Caribbean women’s creative work, to nurture that creativity by publishing fine literature and art by women, to discover and publish emerging and developing writers, to preserve publications for future audiences, and to create a space where community and sisterhood among contemporary women writers and painters of the Caribbean can be cultivated and encouraged.