Jamaica Gleaner / There was a call for books at Bookophilia, 92 Hope Road, St Andrew, recently, even as three poets Millicent Graham, Monica Minott and Ann-Margaret Lim – read `from their poetry books and sometimes work that is yet to be incorporated into a collection. Minott told The Gleaner that the book drive is part of an innovation programme named Katalyst Youth.
“In 2018, we are trying to put books in the hands of students who don’t have books or are in underserved areas,” she said. These include inner-city and rural areas. Persons are being asked to purchase books or contribute towards doing so Bookophilia being central to the acquisition, as a partner in the project. “Think about what a high-school student would want to read,” Minott said.
There are intentions to have literature come to life for the students
“We are hoping some of our poets will go to the schools and share with the students some of what they have been reading. Once you start to read and get excited about about reading, you will want to write,” Minott said. The project runs until February 2018.
At Bookophilia, the readings came before the call, Graham capturing the pain that can come with purported emotional closeness, offering herself as “the proof that love can make you flinch”. Graham, whose two published collections are The Damp in Things and The Way Home , revisited a trip to the Reading Centre and a remarkable encounter with two girls, Crystal and Patience, closing with Prayer for Morning .
Interspersed among guest poets were poems from host ….., who read Mikey Smith’s Mi Cyaan Believe It , and song (including a nod to the Christmas season) by Barry Williams.
Minott made a connection between her debut collection Kumina Queen and and her upcoming Zion Roses , starting with poems from the latter. However, it was the title poem of Kumina Queen , which Minott read last, which established a direct link to the collection in progress as it contains a reference to Zion. From a tribute to late Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott to the multiple directiosn indicatd by the five points of a starfish, then transitioning to ‘ Kumina Queen ‘with ‘Colombus’, Minott explored a range of topics.
Lim incorporated snatches of music into her reading, in which her personal encouners with Countryman (who was in the 1982 movie of that name), writer Wayne Brown and sculptor Christopher Gonzalez, all deceased. Long before closing with the joy Julie , in which the temptation of the ripe fruit leads to a grab and nyam, Lim also addressed the painful legacy of notorious slave owner Thomas Thistlewood.