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Trini daughter launches new book

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Column | No Comments »

Got this press release on Joanne Kilgour-Dowdy’s new book, which she’s launching next week in POS. She’s a heroic artist and teacher and always fascinating.

 

Joanne Kilgour Dowdy launches new book at NALIS

 

Celebrated Trinidad born arts practitioner and educator Joanne Kilgour-Dowdy will launch her latest book Artful Stories: The Teacher, the Student and the Muse on Friday August 5, at NALIS in Port of Spain.

The book is an exploration of the role of the artist as teacher and relationship that evolves between the teacher and the student in the creation of new work, whether it is lighting design, drama, dance, or music.

Kilgour-Dowdy left Trinidad in the eighties to study drama at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance, and Drama with the support of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and then moved on to the Julliard School in New York.  She continued her formal performance career which is carefully and poignantly documented in her photo autobiography ‘In the Public Eye’, which she also launched in Trinidad in 2010.

Professor Dowdy believes that she “must come to Trinidad to share every new book. Just like we introduce our new children to their family at home, I must bring my labours of love to my home island so people can meet their new relatives.”

In addition to a love for the stage, Kilgour Dowdy also has research interests in women and literacy, drama in education and video technology and qualitative research instruction. She has published her findings of the experiences of Black women involved in education from adult basic literacy to higher education.

Artful Stories, as described in the Foreword by Kent State University Professor William Kist, debunks the myth of art being a special skill, and artists being “special” people outside of our formal learning systems.

“Blood sweat and tears of the teachers and students are evident in this book – this is not playtime.  When one practices for five hours a day to master an intricate piece of choreography, or sweats through a couple of shirts laboring over the composing of just the right 500 words, one has a right to say what ‘work’ is.”

Next Friday’s launch takes place at 6.30 p.m. in the Audio Visual Room of the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

For more information on Dr. Kilgour-Dowdy’s work go to her website

http://jkdowdy.com/

 


Back to black

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Column, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Amy Winehouse. Photo by nuflicks/Flickr Creative Commons License

 

On Saturday I was in a sailing boat in St George’s, Grenada, getting ready to cast off when the skipper announced that Amy Winehouse had been found dead.

I’ve never met Amy Winehouse. I’m not a musician. I’m not British or anything even remotely connected to her. I only discovered her music about three years ago and, honestly, there were people who were more ardent fans. I do know, however, that hearing the news of her death made me deeply sad. She was an epic talent, writing songs that cut sharply into the pain of love and loving and singing them in a voice that wrung each drop of that pain from the poignant lyrics, the voice that her friend Russell Brand described as having “rolling, wondrous resonance”. I often put what I consider to be her best song, “Back to Black”, on repeat, feeling the music just probing my own pain the way a tongue will probe an aching tooth, flinching from the agony but going back for more and more of it.

I was in Grenada on assignment –I might not be able to make rent every month, so to speak, but I do have a fantastic career that lets me do things like that sometimes. My assignment called for me to experience Grenada’s beauty, and I had my morning tea on a balcony overlooking the two-mile stretch of white sand that is Grand Anse Beach. I had woken up Sunday morning with Amy on my mind and I wrote this poem in her memory.

 

Back to black

 

Sunspills on Grand Anse

White sand, white surf

Sad for her

Drunken life and death

Foreseen in black songs

Drowning in sorrows

 

Sunspills on Grand Anse

The surf washes over me

My heart beats

In tune to white

Black songs unsung

I go snorkeling

 

But there are nights, o Amy

 

I am you

 

Scarred and scared

Learning from Mr Hathaway

 


Yay! My new story is published in sx salon

Posted: July 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Column | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The internet publication sx salon (produced by the Small Axe people) features a new story from me this month. The story is a noir-ish short called The Gun.

I have to say thanks to my writing workshop group–Sharon, Barbara, Alake, Rhoda and Monique–for their support in the editing and publication of the story. Could not have done it without them. A real tribute to the power of community. 🙂

The story is up here, but do also check out the rest of the magazine. Other pieces include reviews of books by Christian Campbell, Anton Nimblette and Geoffrey Philp, and the issue is a tribute to Peepal Tree Press, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.