'The Caribbean Writer' dedicates silver anniversary to Haiti


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For its 25th anniversary, The Caribbean Writer takes readers to Haiti, originally known as Ayiti, land of high mountains.

Opal Palmer Adisa, the editor, decided to focus this special, silver anniversary issue on Haiti for two reasons - first, to pay homage to their survival of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country and killed over 100,000 thousand people; and secondly, to commemorate their role as freedom fighters, they being the first to wage war and win their freedom in 1803.

In addition to providing readers with glimpses of both of the above mentioned historical events, Volume 25 features prose and poetry by some of Haiti's local as well as internationally celebrated writers such as Edwidge Danticat, winner of the 2009 Fellow 'Genius Award;' Évelyne Trouillot, novelist and professor at Haiti's State University; and Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell, winner of the Iowa Award for short fiction. It also showcases the works of emerging Haitian-American voices such as Michelle Y. Remy and Wilna Julmiste.

Volume 25 also marks a new epoch in the journal's trajectory as being a seminal publication in the Caribbean region. With this first bi-lingual issue, English and French, The Caribbean Writer is forging ahead to reach a wider readership in the Caribbean region, as well as position itself for a more diverse international market. The volume opens with congratulatory remarks by V.I. Gov. John de Jongh Jr., UVI's President David Hall, Provost Karl Wright, Vice Provost for Research and Public Service Henry H. Smith, founding editor Erika J. Waters and an introductory overview by editor Opal Palmer Adisa, who references her January 2011 trip to Haiti to bear witness.

This 640-page edition features 70 pages of poetry by some of the leading Caribbean poets including Kamau Brathwaite, Jennifer Rahim, Ernest Pépin and Sonia Sanchez, plus 100 pages of prose, a special section on Haitian Art and interviews with Earl Lovelace, who recently won the 2011 Caribbean Literary Prize, and Trinidad-American writer, Elizabeth Nunez. The next section of the journal is in French, and editor Adisa, in the acknowledgement section, called on colleagues and friends from various universities and other sites around the country to make this dream of a bi-lingual issue a reality. Volume 25 is historical and a collector's item for three reasons - its emphasis on Ayiti/Haiti, its assemblage of many of the most important Caribbean writers today and its bi-lingual edition to celebrate being 25 years old.

The Caribbean Writer, an international literary journal published by the University of the Virgin Islands, showcases the literary production and visual works by Virgin Islanders as well as others from the greater Caribbean region. The cover art work for this special issue features the painting of Pasko "Easter Rock" Mérisier, renowned Haitian painter who resides between Haiti and France. Interior art includes works by Sam Doudou, André Eugène, Chéby and Evelt Romain, some of the most innovative artists in Haiti today. Local writers who are included in this collector's volume are Arnold R. Highfield, writer, historian and professor emeritus of UVI; Daisy Holder Lafond, Maud Pierre-Charles and Winifred "Oyoko" Loving, and book reviews by current professors such as Simon Jones-Hendrickson, Gillian Royes, Lomarsh Roopnarine, Valerie Combie and Lucia R. DiMeo.

To maintain its credentials as a referred journal in the academy, works were selected blind by the local editorial board comprised of Edgar O. Lake, President of the Society of Virgin Islands Historians; Alscess Lewis-Brown, director of the Human Resources Bureau of the V.I. Police Department; Kenny Hendrickson and Dolace Mclean, professors from both UVI campuses.

The Silver Anniversary/Volume 25 of The Caribbean Writer is currently available at local bookstores on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, as well as UVI bookstores on both islands. Copies are $25, and can also be ordered directly from The Caribbean Writer's office by calling 340-692-4152, emailing orders@thecaribbeanwriter.org or visiting www.TheCaribbeanWriter.org.

The winners for Volume 24 are Randy Koch, The Daily News Prize for poetry; Barbara Jenkins, the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for short fiction; David Edgecombe, The Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize to a Virgin Islands author; Joanne C. Williams, The David Hough Literary Prize to an author residing in the Caribbean; and Fabian Thomas, Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for first-time publication.

The Caribbean Writer is now accepting entries for the Volume 26. The theme is "Nature and Ecology." The deadline is Oct. 15. Submit poems, short stories, personal essays and one-act plays. Maximum length for short stories and personal essays, is 3,500 words, or 10 pages. Only previously unpublished work will be accepted. This issue will be printed in English and Spanish. Bi-lingual submissions are welcome.

For submission, list your name, address and title of submission on a separate sheet. Write the title on the submission itself. All submissions should be on separate pages. Include a brief biographical information and mention previous publications and any Caribbean connection. All manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced.

Email submissions to submit@thecaribbeanwriter.org as a Word or RTF file or mail to: The Caribbean Writer, University of the Virgin Islands, RR 1, Box 10,000, Kingsill, St. Croix, USVI 00850-9781.

For information, call 692-4152.

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