Literary Arts Programme

Literary Arts was one of the areas of focus of the 2014 edition of the Mentoring by the Masters programme. For a period of three months, writers had workshops with award winning novelist Earl Lovelace.  The writers worked on new pieces and work and also continued work on writing they had already started.  Here are some excerpts of their work. Look out for more from these emerging writers in the very near future!

Everywhere is Blue Kavita Ganness

I was in awe every time, I watched the Blue Devils breathe fire from red-painted mouths. Their cobalt skin called to me. Male and female Blue Devils made tantalizing pairs like lovers drugged on passion, dancing solely for each other’s pleasure. How I wished to be a Blue Devil. How I wished to be free like them, but I kept my urges buried deep; till one day that thread of blue found me, and snaked its way into my heart like a blue serpent of lust.

Cascadoux – Hadassah Williams

She was disappointed. So was I; but, I could see no other way. However as the time for my departure drew closer, she accepted that I wasn’t going to change my mind.

So she started making all my favourite dishes. “Because I know you wouldn’t be getting any good food for a long time.” Curried Cascadoux and rice was the last dish she made for me. “To make sure you come back”, she explained.

“I will come back, I promise, I don’t need no fish bring me back” I replied touched by the gesture. “Besides” I continued through the forkfuls “You know that legend not true.”

“You don’t know that. Once you eat the fish you bound to end your days here. It real scarce these days but I was able to get some.”

I remember asking her why she didn’t eat
“No I don’t want none. I ain’t going nowhere. Make sure and eat all”.

I did. And even though some of my memories have faded with passing of time; I remember her smile as she cleared my empty plate.

My Darling Indra  – Gilberte O’Sullivan.

The swirl of Pierrot Grenade’s tattered costume came into Indra’s vision.  Whenever she closed her eyes, even in the darkness, a colour-strobe switched on.  Grenade spun round and round her and danced closer.  His ripped clothes whipped her face, burned her eyes.  He would rip her to shreds as well.  She jumped from sleep and Grenade was gone.  The room was still dark.  A force had chased the strobe and Grenade from her dreams, to have Indra to itself.  Weighted by that force, Indra grunted her way back to the bathroom.  She searched the cupboards to find a pack of Gillette blades in a miniature envelope.  Mam had taken one of the three blades to shave her legs and left it right there, wet and weeping on the sink.  Indra slid a fresh new blade from the packet, took it back to her room and lay it beside her.  She left her door slightly ajar, waiting.  When no one disturbed her, she thought about the razor laying there without purpose, open to the ravage of rust.

Safe House –  Vashti Bowlah

 Mrs. Doon was listening to her favourite radio program when the mid-day news caught her attention. A young man had escaped custody and was reported to be ‘armed and dangerous.’ He faked a stomach ache and officers from the police station had escorted him to the district health facility for treatment. There was a brief struggle and the prisoner managed to take away an officer’s gun, shooting him in the process.

Mrs. Doon seized the arms of the wooden chair, the dress she had been mending slipping off her lap onto the floor. The name rolled off her tongue several times, but she knew her own flesh and blood was incapable of committing such a heinous crime. It must have been an accident.

Lenny was the last of her five children and her only son, born nine years after her fourth. Some accused him of stealing, others claimed he has been selling illegal substances long before he dropped out of school. They didn’t know her son. The child she had given birth to twenty years ago was not the hardened criminal they made him out to be. She wondered whether he would seek refuge at home, or wander the harsh streets in search of food and shelter. She wondered if he was hurt during the struggle with the officer and needed medical assistance.

     Mrs. Doon sat in her verandah for the rest of the day keeping a vigilant watch, leaning over the banister to peer at any distant figure, but Lenny didn’t turn up.  Neither did he turn up on the second day. On the third day, a police car pulled into her driveway and two officers approached. One of them identified himself as Corporal Ramsey and told her of her son’s escape, asking whether she had seen him since.

Lion – Kasi Senge Senghor

At every station where passengers got off and on a spirit of togetherness bloomed. Throughout the journey, from Eastern Borough to Capital, fresh distractions and juicy gossip molded temporary friendships.

When Driver opened his front door at the Tacarigua bus-stop, boarders struggled to bring on a big, burly, red-man with curly hair. “Make a seat for Spanish,” a mother commanded as they carefully deposited him into a seat made vacant by a disappointed travell er.

Lion looked on and listened to the commotion with dread. At sixty -one he had experienced enough bussing to know that a driver’s duty was simply to move normal passengers from point A to point B with scheduled stops along the way.

But on this Wednesday morning, this driver, who had had a mind to refuse Lion entry, had now stopped somewhere before the Tunapuna stop, and was busily taking advice from passengers about what to do with Spanish.

To find out more about the Mentoring by the Masters programme, please click here