February 8th and 9th
Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago will host the inaugural Michael Anthony/Mayaro Book Festival in honour of Trinidadian novelist, Michael Anthony on February 8th and 9th at the Mayaro Civic Centre, Mayaro.
Highlights of this event will include:
Creative Writing workshops by:
Reading Competitions and performances of excerpts of Dr. Anthony's publications:
Consultations by local and foreign publishers and Literary agents from USA.
Exhibitor booths and much more.
Please spread the word, book the dates, invite your friends, attend and participate.
Enquirers from Caribbean participants for the panel discussions and performance forums are welcome.
Interested in the Creative Writing Workshops: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or register on our EVENTS page
Three members of the Board of Directors of the Writers Union of Trinidad and Tobago are currently attending the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism's sponsored three day intensive workshop of Arts management at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Port of Spain Trinidad. The aim of the workshop which is being conducted by the world renowned DeVos Arts Management Institute of the Kennedey Centre in Washington DC, is to strengthen the management of local Cultural organizations by providing persons in management of those organizations with the necessary tools and information to make informed and practical decisions.
WUTT is represented by Cecly Ann Mitchell (President), Colleeen Selvon Rampersad (Secretary) and June Aming (Treasurer).
Ronald Ronnie Arthur Hinkson in his own words:
Van-Aden Stephen Stewart:
First Vice- President of the Writers Union
On Saturday, Poet Laureate of Port-of-Spain Anson Gonzalez left T&T for what might be the last time. Anson, who is now in his 70s, has been critically ill for the past few years; he and his wife Sylvia have moved to Wales, where their daughters live. They left with a bang, not a whimper. On the morning of the day the movers were coming to pick up their boxes, the Gonzalezes hosted a small crowd of friends and neighbours at the unveiling of a blue plaque to honour their home, Sapphire House.
As Gonzalez himself testifies in the preface of In My Own Words, In My Own Journal (2007), ‘[n]ot only did I scout the contributions, but I selected, edited, typeset, printed, collated, bound, and trimmed the units (sic). Then I packaged and/or delivered the issues. At the same time I held down a full-time job, did post graduate studies, tried to keep fit, and fulfilled my family and spiritual obligations’. The journal, though based in Trinidad, is diasporic and pan-Caribbean, for among its pages one can find not only the early work of well-known Caribbean writers such as Dionne Brand (Canada and Trinidad), Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados, UK and USA), and Ian Mc Donald (Guyana, UK and Trinidad), but also a fair collection of Caribbean letters by contributors better known in literary scholarship and editing circles, such as Kenneth Ramchand, Reinhard Sander, Stewart Brown, Gordon Rohlehr, and Jeremy Poynting. (Creative and Cultural Identity in the Work of Anson Gonzalez (Trinidad and Tobago): A Study of Proseleela, Chela Quest, and Crossroads of Dream as Spiritual and Literary Autobiography, Postcolonial Text Vol 4, No 4)
Although I’ve written since I was a little girl and always considered myself a writer before anything else, it was really through Anson that I find myself 20-something years later a published author and editor. When I was a teenager I won the now-defunct Clico Schools Poetry Prize, a prize that Anson started and nurtured. Winning the prize got my picture on the front page of the Guardian, and my winning poem was published in The New Voices. From there, I got the attention of Dr Margaret Watts, a poet herself, who mentored me and encouraged me, facilitating the launch of my self-published book of poems Something to Say, when I was 18. Through Margaret I met other writers—like Alan Tang, who helped with that book too. It is safe to say that without that prize I would never have seriously considered becoming a professional writer. (So if you hate my writing and think me a hack, you have Anson to blame.)
At the unveiling of the plaque, on March 27, those in the gathering were invited to share brief plaudits and memories of Sapphire House and Anson. Jennifer Rahim spoke, saying it was through The New Voices she had been first given a literary award. Jennifer is now the author of several books of poetry and has been given the Casa de las Americas prize for her poetry. She teaches literature at UWI. Another of Anson’s protégées, Paula Obe, is not only a published author, having collections issued by international publishers, but she is also a publisher herself. Paula started the women’s poetry performance collective Ten Sisters, which would go on to tour the country and eventually produce a CD of poetry.
At the gathering at Sapphire House, two teachers spoke about the value of Poetry Day, observed on October 15, which Anson introduced and pushed. Anson was also a founder of the Writers Union, which still exists and still works for T&T writers. Late last year Anson co-edited the collection 100 Poems from Trinidad & Tobago, published by Cane Arrow Press. It was a massive undertaking, including poetry from the 1930s to today. Anson Gonzalez is a man whose legacy is nearly beyond comprehension. So much of our literary life in contemporary T&T is owed to what he has done; he deserves our highest national honour.