Short Stories and Poems
The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) is having its annual Literary Festival in celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month in June. The Institute of Caribbean Studies has fought in order to have this month to acknowledge the influence of Caribbean culture on an international scale. As writers, we know how hard it is to get our work recognized, and as authors of work influenced by the Caribbean our niche is that much smaller. This Festival seeks to share and celebrate the work of upcoming Caribbean writers, as well as established ones. It is a platform for us to support each others work and to highlight the influence we have had on other cultures.
We are seeking submissions of literary fiction from anyone who wants to be a part of this celebration. Caribbean writers have a unique voice and ICS would like to highlight the great stories and poetry that reflect those roots. Our theme this year is Climate Change and the Caribbean.
Submissions are due by May 17. Five pieces will be chosen for showcasing on our website and in our literary magazine to be handed out at our book reading in June at the PORTICO Book Store in Washington, D.C. You may submit two poems or one short story. The short story should be no more than 3,000 words, and the poem no more than 500 words each. The author should also include a short bio with their submission.
The .pdf of our 2014 Literary Magazine can be downloaded here.
We are also seeking readers for our book reading in June. If you have a book written in the past two years based on the Caribbean or Caribbean characters please send us a description of the book, the sample to be read and a biography of the author. Traditional or self-published works are accepted. Deadline for submissions to the book reading are due by April 20.
All submissions should be sent to Shanza Lewis at email@example.com.
2014 Literary Festival Stories
El Eco De La Memoria
A veces, sólo a veces
Lo pongo frente al ventanal
De aquel balcón en el Trópico
Llegan todos ellos y se sientan
Los oigo hablar como hablaban,
Ir y venir por la acera de en frente
A veces competían por ser el más enfermo
Pero siempre llegaban a la paz del regreso,
"Se acuerdan", se decían unos a otros,
Sometimes and only sometimes,
Daniel Torres nació en Caguas, Puerto Rico, en 1961. Es Catedrático de Español y Estudios Latinoamericanos en Ohio University. Sus publicaciones incluyen: dos novelas, Morirás si da una primavera (1993), Premio Letras de Oro 1991-1992 de la Universidad de Miami, y Conversaciones con Aurelia (2007); un libro de cuentos, Cabronerías: Historias de tres cuerpos (1995); un libro de crónicas, cuento y poesía titulado Mariconerías: Escritos desde el margen (2006) y los diez poemarios reunidos en En (el) imperio de (los) sentidos: Poesía (in)compleya 1981-2011 (2013). Fue Premio Nacional de Poesía del PEN Club de Puerto Rico en 2009. Su poesía ha sido inlcuida en El límite volcado: Antología de la generación de poetas de los ochenta (2000), en Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (2008), y en la Antología del Colectivo Literario Homoerótica (2012). Como crítico literario ha publicado ensayos y libros sobre poesía hispanoamericana colonial y contemporánea.
LA LIBRETA, click to read
La Libreta tells the story of a woman from Santo Domingo living in New York. As she struggles to make ends meet in a strange and cold place, she wonders if leaving her home was worth it.
AJ Sidransky is a life long New Yorker. He lives in Washington Heights with his wife. He has a college age son who attends the University of Miami.
He has been writing in one form or another for many years. Forgiving Maximo Rothman is his debut novel. He has two new books coming out, Stealing a Summer’s Afternoon, a black comedy, in June 2014 and Forgiving Mariela Comacho in early 2015, a thriller and sequel to Forgiving Maximo Rothman.
Mr. Sidransky has had a varied and interesting professional life. He has worked as a banker, commercial mortgage broker and Internet entrepreneur. He is a trained Chef, (a graduate of the French Culinary Institute), and a Certified Personal Trainer. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Sidransky is on the steering committee of Viva tu Vida/Live Your Life, an anti childhood obesity non-profit in upper Manhattan and sits on the executive committee of Yeshiva University’s Community Development Board. He travels to the Dominican Republic frequently and is fluent in Spanish. Aside from his next novel, which is to be set in the Dominican Republic, he is working on a series of articles about Jewish life in Latin America that will appear in a major Jewish American daily.
Cascadu Love Affair
Harry says he’ll die,
If Leela (who really likes him)
doh sen’ him some cascadu
Doux-doux, leh meh try yuh han’
Salt fish cook-up wid nice, steam yam
And if yuh want meh stay fuh true
Then ah want yuh make some cascadu
Curry it sweet or stew it nice
Dat goin’ good wid bagee rice
O gosh, gyul, ah tastin’ plantain too
Ah feelin’ fuh a cascadu
Yuh could steam it up wid melongene
And pepper it wid some bird cayenne
Make de ting however yuh choose
Dis fellar lookin’ fuh cascadu
Yuh could fry de fish in a big coal pot
And make sure it servin’ hot, hot, hot
Yuh could colour it up wid some red roucou
Gyul fix meh up wid cascadu
Yuh know ah done gone quite Canada
It does make cold like hell in November
So me eh care if you is warahoon
Ah beggin’ yuh, woman … cascadu!
Dis place have all meh pores raise up
I lookin’ like how when chicken does pluck
It doh matter if ah wear ten socks and shoes
Lawd, Fadder hear meh! … cascadu!
Ah have one sweet job up in Toronto
An’ meh wife dey she eh want me to go
She does put plenty stay-home in meh food
O Lad! Meh only hope is cascadu!
Boss-man an’ all eh’ want me leave
He fixin’ meh papers for permanency
Meh head so hot, me eh know what to do!
Ah beggin! Sen’ meh some cascadu!
Ah doh want to be in no cold, cold town
Ah feelin’ to be Trinbago bound
But ah ‘fraid meh visa get renew
O Gawd gyul … cascadu!
I like yuh doux-doux, I like yuh bad
So even if is jus’ wid green salad
I dyin’ to come back home fuh true!
Lawd! Ah beggin! … cascadu!
I like yuh! Doh feel is mamaguy
When I see yuh ah only givin’ sweet eye
So cook up some fish wid nice coo-coo
Meh mine only stick on cascadu
Mail it by some express route
‘Else ah go freeze gyul! … cascadu!
Nneka Edwards was born in Canada but grew up in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean. Nneka is a prolific poet who has a combined total of over ten poetry ebooks on both Amazon and iTunes. She holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a master’s degree in International Cooperation from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. She is conversant in Spanish, French and Chinese.
Theme: No matter where we go in the world, we never lose our Trini roots!
BLOOD RISING, click to read
Even in the halcyon Caribbean, there are things we would rather forget...
St. Kitts-Nevis born Carol Ottley-Mitchell is the self-published author of nine children’s books. Eight of the books are based in the Caribbean and children reading these books get an engaging peek into the culture, history, and geography of the Caribbean. Carol’s children’s books have been nominated for the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children’s Literature. Carol’s work for adult audiences has appeared, among other places, in Poui: The Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing and in the St. Somewhere Journal. She has written for newspapers in St. Kitts, she blogs with several other authors at NovelSpaces and maintains her own blog.
The Journey Through Time
Your voice is like a musical song
But I am having problems understanding
What is your native tongue?
The words spilled from the man interviewing
A lump of disbelief appear
(Breathe, remember articulate, speak a little clearer)
The Queen, her language we share
(Breathe, remember to speak a little slower)
Trinidad was also under her care
Data entry would be best
You will love it there
No meetings with clients yet
There will be nothing to fear
What rubbish, my mind screamed
But my strict,
don’t answer back, up-bringing,
To college I went at nights
A good education my West Indian parents said makes things right
At the Bank I practiced the art of speaking
But yet again
I was passed up for management training
My sense of humor hid the pain
I still was not ready to assimilate
I now had to divide me to reign
Be a Trini at home only; to integrate
I changed my fight
I shaped a different me
I began to absorb this life
My kids, they needed me
They will live here, you see
Sadly, hubby did not see the need
So we each trudged our own pathway
My parents hung their heads in shame
Indian women are trained to obey
Years rolled by
My faith returned as my guide
I finally found my voice
I finally found my pride
I am no longer a lost girl who cries
I am a blend of two worlds
Showing others where the journey lies
My name is Soraya Kalpee Loutoo, you can call me Raya. I was born on the island of Trinidad. I grew up in Ste Madeleine and attended Naparima Girls High School in San Fernando. After graduation I migrated to the United States where I went to college at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland and later to University of Maryland, University College. I love to share my life’s teaching with others in the form of poetry.
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CARIBBEAN AMERICAN PULSE