AS the start of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s largest literary festival is quickly approaching, today we feature five more nominees for the 2018 Newsday People’s Choice TT Book of the Year.
Shivanee Ramlochan, author of Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, is a poet, arts reporter and book blogger. She is the book review editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine, as well as Paper Based Bookshop, TT’s oldest independent Caribbean specialty bookseller, and deputy editor of the Caribbean Review of Books.
Ramlochan’s poems take the reader through a series of imaginative narratives that are at once emotionally familiar and compelling, even as the characters evoked and the happenings they describe are heavily symbolic. Her poems reference the language and structural patterns of the genres of fantasy or speculative fiction, though with her own distinctive features, including the presence of such folkloric Trinidadian figures as douens, those wandering lost spirits whose feet point backwards. Her speakers live in a world that somewhere between the fantastic and the ordinary.
The second featured author is Brian Benoit, who wrote Legends of Panderica.
Benoit is the CEO of the Benoit Academy of Steel Pan, executive producer of Panimation Studios and author of the Legends of Panderica animated book series.
Legends of Panderica is the first steelpan animated book of its, kind which won the Ideas to innovation (i2i) competition for innovative excellence and commitment to shaping the future of TT and developing the education sector of the steelpan industry.
The series tells the tale of a group of young enthusiastic heroes from the pan academy who make their way to the museum of natural pan history. When they arrive, they are stunned to discover that the evil Pandemonium has stolen all the sacred music tones that gave life to Panderica. The adventure begins as the young heroes journey on a quest to retrieve all the sacred tones and restore the World of Panderica back to order.
Letters to Honest Folk was written by author and poet Omavi Langevine, from Point Fortin.
This highly opinionated and inventive artist’s love for words runs deep, and his dedication to edifying his physical and virtual communities is evident in all that he conceptualises and creates.
Throughout his career, Langevine has been a member of Point Fortin’s own Jeunes Agape choir, has been featured as a performance poet on TV6’s Cup of Joe, TTRN’s Free-speech project and 107.1 The Word.
He qualified as a finalist in many nationwide competitions and performed in numerous events in both TT.
Last year marked two firsts in Langevine’s career: the release of his first book, Letters to Honest Folk, and the extension of his art into the world of music.
Letters To Honest Folk was written with immense belief in the power of being relatable. Somewhere out there, someone is longing for the comfort of knowing that they are not alone and alienated. That someone knows and understands the exact battle, thought process, pursuit, trial etc, that they experience. This book serves as a voice to the ones that struggle with articulating the dissonance of the heart. Filled with unapologetically honest letters on various existential topics, as well as, beautifully crafted selected poems, Letters To Honest Folk serves as an everyday inspirational tool and motivational asset to navigate life’s ocean.
Mahendra Mathur, author of Mahendra’s Answers, who was once a colonel who commanded an engineer regiment of the Indian army in peace and war, then came to Tobago in 1975 as director of Claude Noel Highway Project. He was then appointed technical officer, Works Division, Tobago.
In 1989 Mathur was asked to be the first director of the National Emergency Management Agency, in which capacity he formulated the natural disaster preparedness plan, hazard and response maps, and the chemical disasters preparedness plan.
Mathur, who spent four months at Oxford Polytechnic in 1992 doing research on hazard assessment, organised disaster management workshops for senior officials from public and private sectors in conjunction with the University of West Indies twice a year. In 1998 he retired from Nema and now lives in Trinidad.
He has written 12 books on his experiences in India and TT, and now spends his time answering questions posed from all over the world on the website Quora on history, military leaders, spirituality and life in general.
The book is a compilation of Mahendra Mathur’s answers given on Quora over a period of approximately a year.
Author of Men and Misfits Lyndon Baptiste, born in 1982, is a lecturer and computer programmer who writes for the fun of it.
In Men and Misfits, Baptiste, who also wrote oOh My Testicles! and Boy Days, takes us on a refreshing, comical journey. In this collection, you’ll meet men and misfits from the streets of Trinidad to Lone Pine, California.