Sunday, November 11, 2007

International Conference on Caribbean Literature

The Ninth International Conference on Caribbean Literature

I attended this conference and presented a paper, "Earl Lovelace’s Blue and Bango, the Artistic Transformation of the Martyr and the Clown, Brief Conversion to Salt." This year's conference took place November 7-9 in beautiful St. Lucia in the West Indies.

I posted images from the trip; enjoy a slide show.

My wife, Linda, also attended and gave a paper, and we got to travel a bit around St. Lucia--22 miles long and 14 at its widest. The Piton Mountains near Soufriere (means "sulfer") attest to the island's volcanic past, and the mountains find their name on the nation's premier beer, Piton Lager Beer (The link takes you to a site for the beer and a song about St. Lucia and its beer).

The Pitons
This year's conference honored a native of St. Lucia and Castries, where the conference took place, Derek Walcott, who in 1992 earned a Nobel Prize for Literature; at this site, you can read his famous Nobel Lecture--or listen to the 48-minute recording of "The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory."

Derek Walcott Reads, November 7, 2007

And in the two video clips, you can listen to Walcott read a couple poems from his latest book of poetry, The Prodigal.

We did not get around a lot, but we did visit Pigeon Island near Gros Islet in the north; this area houses the ruins of a sixteenth century British fort. The French creole that most everyone speaks attests to the island's past, for the French or the British controlled the island six or seven times each.

Ruins at Pigeon Island

While at Pigeon Island, I also got a nice picture of a Little Blue Heron.

Blue Heron

And each night, you hear a poetry of sounds on the island, featuring the wonderful chorus of frogs--not seen easily but always heard. This particular recording features the frogs singing while rains fall and Caribbean waves crash in the distance. Just click in listen to the 44 seconds of "singing."

You will also find a video by a leading musician in St. Lucia--I will supply his name later--who offers a folk song in the nation island's French Creole.


Kathy Koch said...

Beautiful sights, beautiful sounds, beautiful words, beautiful music - what a phenomenal way to spend a few days in November!

Stacie said...

Nice heron, Bill! A good addition to your collection.