An Evening of Tea and Readings, January 12th

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

Official event flyer, designed by Reynold Kevin Hackshaw and Danielle Boodoo Fortuné.

Official event flyer, designed by Reynold Kevin Hackshaw and Danielle Boodoo Fortuné.

“Amazing synergies happen when you have so much talent beneath one roof, in one evening.” This was one of the enthusiastically shared comments, following the shop’s most recent in a series of teatime readings. The first official Paper Based event of 2013, this gathering marked another first: the first time this many readers were asked to share their work in one, structured sitting. Ten writers of prose fiction and poetry generously shared their time and work with the capacity-packed space right outside the shop. In keeping with the low-key vibe of the event, there were no fussy introductions or rattling speeches from either the admin or the writers. What unfolded instead was an evening of much laughter and quiet contemplation, including a chatty intermission filled with delicious treats and lots of wine!

Have a look at our photo gallery below, in case you missed the event (or if you were there, and want to relive some of the memories!)




It was an honour to share the stage with these nine talented writers. I greatly look forward to seeing how each of their creative paths progresses, a sentiment I’m sure is echoed by all those in attendance at our first official event of 2013.

Photo of Fawzia Kane by Portia Subran.
All other reader photographs by Fawzia Kane.


Tantie Diablesse by Fawzia Kane

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

TantieDiablesseIf they were guests at a dinner party, Fawzia Kane’s poems wouldn’t bluster or shove their way into conversation. Quite the opposite: they would linger thoughtfully in the corridors or on the balcony, then present themselves with earnest clarity. The more time you spend with them, the more they reveal that they are made up of rich, folkloric allusion, flavoured with an architectural eye for precision, gracefully primed to impact well.

Part One of this first collection takes us to places we have beheld, and places out of the line of our vision. Its poems are steeped in the past while eschewing maudlin sentiment, or weighty nostalgia. The past is always around us, jostling with the present for supremacy, pieces like “How to Breathe” seem to say.

Part Two brings the reader face to face with Tantie Diablesse herself, a figure of legend and everyday mischief, one writ large in the creative imagination of any Trini who’s dreamed up beautiful women with suspicious feet. In these fourteen Tantie-centric pieces, this wildly infamous lady shares her secrets while proudly proclaiming her sovereignty: what emerges is a complex and deeply gratifying portrait of a figure both feared and revered.

Longlisted for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, Tantie Diablesse reads just like that poetic party guest you want never to leave your bedside table.