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NEW LITERATURE by ROI KWABENA

CELEBRATING A UNIQUE CULTURAL HERITAGE



 


“in the moment"

Selected commissioned poems from Birmingham's Poet Laureate (2001-2002), celebrating the diversity and culture of England's second city. Includes an appreciation of the epic poem-"location:RE". These works have received international acclaim establishing Roi Kwabena as a new vibrant voice of Post-Colonial Literature in Britain.

    "ORISHA SONGS FOR CELINA"

    A unique collection of new poetry by this acclaimed Caribbean poet. He celebrates the life of his Great, Great Grand Mother: Celina Lockhart.(circa 1800s) Born in colonial Trinidad during slavery,she was a devotee of the Orisha religion of the Yoruba peoples. Celina was a leading member at the historically famed RADA Yard community in Belmont,Port of Spain. Interestingly this community spawned influences for the modern day Steel band, Carnival, Calypso and Soca Music for which Trinidad is now renowned.

      INTRODUCTION

      "opening your eyes to the magic of his imagination and your spirit to the music of his soul ”



        <

       Poetry/ with translations
       Roi Kwabena
       Introduction by Lennox Raphael
       After-word by Dr Eric Doumerc
       88pgs / B& W-PBK- ISBN: 1-4116-7410-3 Coloured Cover   Size: 228.6 mm X 152.4 mm B&W-
       RRP: £12.00
       Special rates
       USA/Canada/New World-Caribbean
       Wholesale prices available on request
       
       

      “as long as” commemorates the poet's thirty second anniversary and fiftieth birthday. Since his first collection in 1974, Roi Kwabena has fascinated many with his stories, poetry, music, lectures and lively interactive sessions. Actively promoting Cultural Literacy as an integral part of life-long learning, his energetic performances are in demand for conferences, seminars and concerts. This inimitable approach to teaching history and literature development has influenced ongoing activities at numerous schools, community centres, museums, prisons, universities, libraries, elderly homes, and places of worship internationally.

      “as long as” deliberately reinterprets memories of Caribbean life at the turn of optimistic sixties and turbulent seventies. This is apparent in "never forget", “skylarking”, “DJ Big man city”, “Never forget”, "Recess", "Advice" and "Guarding Botanic Gardens ".

      Widely misunderstood socio-cultural values of the Caribbean are celebrated in this new poetry." lockjoint”, is as much a childhood experience and valid historic event. This writer consciously revisits seemingly titular events to reopen
      “pitch darned trenches that never healed”
      and these abrasions manifest today, as seemingly insurmountable quandaries in his birth place. Unemployment and poverty remain great concerns in "touristy" despite the glossy travel paraphernalia. Basic Human Rights in the Caribbean are constantly under threat by a phenomenal increase of violent crime, supplemented by recent sensational reports of impropriety in the echelons of power in collusion with parasitic oligarchs. This is a passionate plea for an end to what is painted as "provocation". It is a courageous attempt to
      “…enable sight through the lies an’ chase away the flies of broken promises”
      Proposing to “write the wrongs” is idealistic, but an acrimonious “émigré mask”: supping /from the same/ cup of poison / for sanctuary” is a bizarre dilemma. As one noted literary critic suggested, not many versifiers have “seen how the political system works on the inside... and.. step away from that role to reclaim the license of the folk poet to s(t)ing those who in power who do to live up to their rhetoric.”

      Readers are reminded that "will but forced" emancipation did not address the fundamental issues of equality and liberty. Capital punishment remains enshrined in several independent territories and politicians grapple with legislations for appropriate conduct of those assigned to keep order. "re-ah-just" implores elected custodians to "re-direct" fiscal expenditure from armoury and security to health social welfare and education. For "ah vacuum" and the "great divide" will persist, if community empowerment remains ignored by those entrusted to govern.

      The poet confidently prescribes conflict resolution for a "piece of mind". "JULICA" is in response to recent Hurricanes which devastated many islands. The catastrophe that occurred in New Orleans does not escape this poet via “Big Ease Back” nor does horrific bombings across London in “Last Thursday”.

      "As Long As" is complimented with selected authorised translations into Greek, Swedish, Hungarian, Italian and Turkish.

      "In the Moment", “Capital of Culture” “Holocaust Memorial” as commissioned works as Poet Laureate of Birmingham City, UK feature alongside other recent commissions : “ Enlightenment & Dissent” and “the dark”. While "So Sea Here" literally knits sound and text resulting in enthralling rhythmic responses on a variety of issues. There are other surprising gems that traverse dissimilar landscapes of Wales, Cambrian lake district, Bavaria and Sudan; “ laid out in buffet style, something for everyone” as suggested in the introduction.

      “as long as” is Introduced celebrated Danish based playwright Lennox Raphael and an after word by Dr Eric Doumerc of the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail in France. Readers are invited to celebrate the achievements of this exciting writer. Happy and incisive reading.



    ORDER AS LONG AS 



    ORDER AS LONG AS 

    Whether Or Not

    ROI KWABENA

    “Introduction Dr. Lauri Ramey,

    Department of English, California State University, Los Angeles”



    look, take back these identities you gave my wind swept volcanic rocks

    ("westindia")



    Prominent among the previously present and evolving themes of Roi Kwabena's new and long-anticipated poetry collection is the reclamation of experience through language. Sweeping aside current debates regarding "the poem on the page" versus "performance poetry," Kwabena's work resides in the origins of the lyric genre, which never proposed such dichotomies. By focusing on theme and form, it becomes evident that his poetry is allied with various traditions and impulses. At the same time, what emerges in this new volume is a distinct voice whose "literariness" is now manifest in full articulation.


    Language is the medium which allies these two worlds, the spoken and engraved. In the tradition of Caribbean poetry — but the tradition of all lyric poetry — Kwabena engages in the act of intense scrutiny of language in operation. Throughout the six sections of Whether Or Not, we see the continuing motif of how language is used aesthetically and politically —for purposes of appropriation, disenfranchisement, construction (and deprivation) of identity, the agony of erasure and marginalisation, the insistent shout for recognition, and the exuberant joys of sensuosity.


    While acknowledging the usual categories in which a poetry of conscience is often slotted, describing Kwabena's poetry as solely "political" or "performative" does not do it full justice. Raised in a home where literature was present and stressed, including the works of a broad range of Caribbean and African American writers, Kwabena also experienced the early influences of classroom memorisation at the tail end of the colonial educational system.The combination of oppression and release proposed by poetry — reciting Byron and Skeete at school, while reading Selvon and Du Bois at home — must have been instilled at a young age via such exposure. It was an early lesson that language could be a source of productive tension to illuminate forces (repressive as well as enabling) that otherwise would remain hidden.



    For example, in 'westindia', cultural identity is reclaimed through the careful repetitive construction of the negative case. The poem is framed with the opening and closing couplet: "here is not west india/here is not west india." Names, our most primal linguistic emblem of identity, are shown to be symptomatic of the problems of the colonial legacy. The list of place names is solemnly intoned



    st croix st kitts st eustatius st vincent st thomas



    as the poem echoes the litany of saint names for locales where the namers "never, ever trod." The word "look" is repeated, a plea and demand in one, as the poet begs and insists that the irony of the situation be recognised and acknowledged. This drumming of an intoned and highly significant word becomes in this collection what is what is commonly known as leitworter (Martin Buber) — a frequent device in biblical narrative as well as the earliest African American poetry, notably spirituals (which so strongly influenced much of later Black American verse) — where single words or phrases accrue the weight of a central theme, beyond what an individual word can ordinarily bear.



    The "what we are not" is impeccably balanced with "what we are." These poems amply trace the historical and political path of the Gallabi as an indigenous population through a wealth of documentation. There is a thrust in this collection as a whole to recapture the unique legacy of Caribbean peoples, who share Diasporic links but also remain distinct. Here is where we experience Kwabena as poet-teacher: the "Obeahman" he aspires to be in his anthemic poem is, ironically, the figure he has become in Whether Or Not. Traditionally, in "new age bois," the speaker in the poem calls on the spirits of the ancestors to empower him to bring their energy — and burdens — into the present for resolution, tirelessly. There is an implicit charge to the reader to enter into the process of education by means of enculturation.



    This stress on words as vessels of enormous cultural weight is a hallmark of Kwabena's poetry. Many of the poems in this collection intersperse conventional and colloquial diction. Typically, rather than writing poems wholly in vernacular, Kwabena's poems combine the two worlds, obviously an ideological gesture, which also reflects the breadth of audience address towards which he aims. As with his previous collection, A Job For the Hangman (Birmingham: RAKA Publications, 1997), Whether Or Not contains an extensive glossary of terms. This is not poetry written for insiders or an elite. Although Kwabena speaks always from his own particular experience, this is also the voice of a writer committed to a Pan Afrikan vision that acknowledges multiculturalism (reflective of Kwabena's own heritage) and tolerance. His method is to bring in rather than exclude.



    Just as he stresses and preserves place names, which build in resonance as one progresses through this collection, Kwabena often uses foods to evoke a sense of specific cultural identity and texture. Food, a universal ingredient of social ritual, is luxuriated over in numerous poems. In "cascadura," names of regional specialties become a metaphor for the bonds, rituals, traditions and beauty of community life:



    pepper sauce on the highway hot doubles in san juan traffic in the croissee mincing fresh chive in sant d'eau



    ** shark n bake down chagville a rude male breeze in the middle of town, blowing up sandra's pretty dress



    In addition, food is inextricably linked to the sounds of the language, whose authenticity is meticulously preserved. This motif reaches a culmination in such pieces as "never say gone," which fittingly closes the collection. This poem also exemplifies Kwabena's characteristic invitation to readers to enter a world that they will either recognise as familiar or need to know about. He writes, "so come/come take a stroll with me/along salibya . . . matura/manzanilla to mayaro shores", as we are invited to follow the poet's lead. We travel in this epic lyric through the past, present and envisioned future of Trinidad and Tobago, as a sense-of-place is methodically constructed through references to all of the exponents of culture — naming foods such as sapodilla, gundee, chip chip, arepa, pastelle, payme; the writers Eric Roach, Syl Lowhar and Victor Questel; and closing with a crescendo recreating the sights and sounds of Carnival and its players and music, in a thirty line coda beginning with kaico and ending with robber talk. We don't need much more evidence to place Kwabena in the griot tradition, or to understand that that is how he sees his role.



    There are other notes sounded in this collection as well that show the level of lyric sophistication and stylistic range that Kwabena achieves in his new writing. "Apparitions" is a delicate poem of lament, whose final stanza of stark solemnity would befit the Japanese tradition. "Hang Man" and "no hearts" demonstrate his sensitivity to the double meaning of words and concepts as he plays on the ironies inherent in language itself, as well as humanity's ability to use words to deceive and even self-deceive.



    Roi Kwabena's poetry is an extension of his work (I use the word "work" as a deeply resonant term here) in other genres, from politics to community activism to concerns with health, spirituality and education. But it is essential not to allow his towering public presence to overshadow the fact that — like Senghor, like James — he is indeed a poet. Whether Or Not is no veiled polemic, nor a rhapsodic medium to convey a didactic message. As he wrote to me in an interview (June 2000), "I choose the medium of poetry conscious of the power that the spoken word commands, recognizing the damage done via our miseducation . . . conscious of the lost and subsequent refertilization of our language(s).".





      INTRODUCTION

      "A poem alone can expose a lie ”



                Anyone who meets Roi Kwabena or sees him in performance will recognize in the man the qualities that characterise his poetry- a restless energy, a wry wit and humour, a fervent commitment to egalitarian ideals and a real concern for the people of Trinidad.
             Just about all of the poems in this new collection are poetic commentaries on the flux and frustrations of life in modern Trinidad, written from the unique perspective of one who has seen how the political system works from the inside- during his tenure as a Senator in the nation’s Parliament- but who has stepped away from that role to reclaim the license of the folk-poet to s(t)ing those in power who do not live up to their own rhetoric.
              A strong sense of the region’s history underpins the poet’s responses to the vagaries of contemporary “politricks”. He is aware of the long shadow of colonialism that still affects Trinidadian society-from the legal retention of the condemned man’s right to appeal to the Privy Council in London, right down to the kinds of insecurity that characterise individuals who have internalised an idea of themselves as being ‘colonials’, in some ways only second class citizens of the world.
              Kwabena sees evidence of such neo-colonial mentality in some of his compatriots’ attitudes and actions and his poetry sets out to combat that pervasive distortion of values. By offering his audience a sense of their claims on wholly other cultural heritances-particularly through his informed awareness of the importance of Africa in the evolution of Caribbean culture-Kwabena’s poetry argues an alternative agenda.
       
       

      “What is disturbing, is the level of cultural illiteracy”




              To invoke a not inappropriate echo, the poems in "A JOB FOR THE HANGMAN" represent a kind of ‘grounding’ between the poet and his audience: they serve, in performance, as occasions for debate and discussion rather than the invitation to applause that the more conventionally literary poem seems to invite when read aloud. Kwabena, like other poets of this tradition across the Caribbean, seems to value the poem primarily as an agent of dialogue- whether directly, as in performance, or in terms of stirring his readers to debate among themselves.
              The poet’s vocation for Kwabena is understood within the broader context of cultural activism- not for him the luxury of emotions recollected and shaped in tranquillity- rather these poems are urgent messages from the front.  As such it is not surprising that the poetic, language he employs is direct and largely lacking in the ornaments of a more leisured idea of versification- there is little room for metaphor in this poetry of engagement.
               But like the work of the calypsonians- whose shadows inevitably bear on any popular poetry from Trinidad- there is much clever  wordplay here and Kwabena’s poems are characterised by a kind of rhythmic surge which invites enunciation and performance- Roi Kwabena writes in the anticipation that the words will come off the page and into the air, so the poems are written to be heard as much as to be read and that expectation very much determines their shape on the page.
       

    “A hedging hegemony”


                The language of these poems on the page is interesting too. As I have said, Roi Kwabena the poet is more concerned with directness and clarity than  the ornament  or literary affectation. While there are enough Trinidadian terms throughout the text to justify the useful glossary that ends the book, and the ‘voice’ of  the poems  is very  much a Trinidadian one, yet  the text is accessible to the non-Trinidadian reader.
              Only occasionally does Kwabena resort to the mutation of a word-as-print in order to suggest / convey its sound.  In this he is perhaps unusual among that tradition of poets who lay as much stress on the performance of a poem as on its existence as text.
              Although I’m not  sure he would entirely approve of the comparison, in this regard Roi Kwabena’s work reminds me of that strand in Derek Walcott’s poetry that attempts to speak in a popular voice on issues of current  political / cultural moment, perhaps best exemplified in “The Spoiler’s Return”. If  we compare “The Spoiler’s Return” with a poem like Roi Kwabena’s “Letter from Sea Lots”-albeit that it is not on the same grand scale as Walcott’s poem- we find that both poems address a very similar concern with the state of Trinidadian society, lamenting the corruption of its’ politicians and the cheapening of its culture.
              In many ways Kwabena employs similar kinds of word play and puns as Walcott. Both poems are rich in references to local events and issues that might not be familiar to the non Trinidadian reader but which give the narrating persona a certain credibility.
              That credibility largely depends on the reader’s conviction that the language employed for these respective lamentations is also ‘true’ and it is here that the comparison become interesting, for while the tone and measure of Spoiler’s Creole certainly convinces the non-Caribbean reader of it’s ‘authenticity’ yet -as several Trinidadian critics have noted- we are always conscious that it is part of Walcott’s marvelous artifice. There is always that distance.
              Kwabena’s usage however needs no embellishment, nor aspires to that kind of  distance  between  art and life;  coinages like the wonderful “cable an’ wireful”  or-more grimly- “sprangers” ring of that  inventiveness and rueful wit that we associate with the ongoing development of living  West Indian Creoles rather than  the mannered wit  of the ‘Great Tradition’.
              Kwabena is not  interested in playing those games, he  is clearly speaking to his contemporaries, in a language that   is intimately known, on matters that are too important  for that kind of literary niceties that win great prizes but arguably “change nothing”. Roi Kwabena seems to me to belong to an interventionist tradition in Caribbean poetry that goes back to the roots of calypso and found early  literary expression in the socialist / nationalist  writings of  the Beacon group in Trinidad’s 1930s.
            There are other interesting comparisons to be made between the barrack-yard poetry of that period and the kinds of  work Roi Kwabena and other younger Trinidadian poets are producing today.  Both groups of  writers  thought of  their own poetry in terms of a contribution to struggle rather than as ‘beautiful objects’ that were ends in themselves.  For Roi Kwabena   poetry   is a kind of surrogate  obeah, intended as he says in his poem “Obeah Man” in this collection:

      but not for a noble prize, only to write the wrongs
      to feed
      the hungry children an’ poor people....

      Dr. Stewart Brown
      University of Birmingham,
      United Kingdom
      October 1996


    SELECTED POETRY OF

    ROI KWABENA
      SELECTED POEMS
      FROM THE ANTHOLOGY:
      "A JOB FOR THE HANGMAN"
      by ROI KWABENA
      PUBLISHED 1997
      © COPYRIGHT 1997
      RAKA PUBLICATIONS
      port of spain - birmingham - omdurman

      A JOB FOR THE HANGMAN

      ...now take your responsibility seriously....
      hang with expediency
      hang this legislation for its impropriety
      hang the legacy of slavery an’ indentureship
      hang high the ruling parasitic oligarchy
      hang until dead the injustice of being
      incarcerated for two decades awaiting execution...
      hang the plan to abolish the privy council
      hang (sic) the plan to empower the sterile
      legal vultures of these plantation  economies....
      hang the archaic state of prisons,
       be it  trinidad, jamaica or grenada
      hang quickly the temptation to ignore
      amnesty international...
      hang the truth up high that the issue
      is not only the death penalty but  human rights...
      accept the reality that the causes of crime
      must  be addressed
      for the homeless, poverty-stricken, naked an’ hungry
      cannot be overlooked...
      hang the inability to protect the fishing industry...
      execute immediately the notion of nationals
       (whether trini or guyanese)
      have the right to pollute the orinoco delta
      with their drug an’ gun runnin’ activity,,,

      hang until dead this system of neo-colonialism
      .....now take your responsibility seriously....
      then we can begin to discuss
         NATIONAL UNITY....


      LETTER FROM SEA LOTS

      “........only five pounds yuh send?
      bread, sugar an’ milk gone up.........
      buses  doh run.... water still go
        now severe-threat in charge ah de water in maraval
      so we looking out fuh poison...

      money hard to come by....we down here suffering
      sure..we have gas, oil, menthanol....
      ....steel, an’ sugar exporting..
      buh mangrove still vamping...
      factories not hiring.....even race horse protesting....
       crime rampant as jurors  hunted
      laws improvising an’ english q-cees hustling..
      buh teachers’ money still owing...

      yuh ask for news? any news is sad news.....
      doubles-man an’ market vendors still on de run
      kidnapping an’ family murders add to dis shame
      while  meh OLE gran still worried sick ‘bout she pension...

      cable an’ wireful, wid sure-hell come back...
      even powertake  an’ brit grasp follow fashion
      buh maxi still accept short change
      yet parts expensive..so only insurance profittin’
      as sprangers still roam in de night

      de only difference is de den opposition
      must now salute for de independence parade...

        senator..ah sure yuh would ah like tha....”



      OBEAH MAN

      i wish i was an obeah man
      better than papa niza or even shadow
      to light a big mauve candle and throw light on
      evils throughout the ‘global village’

      i wish i was a  obeah man to write the wrongs
      but not for a noble prize, only  to feed
       the hungry children an’ poor people...

      i wish i was a obeah man to enable sight through the lies
      an’ chase away the flies of broken promises

      i wish i was a obeah man
      to decide an end to austerity measures
      establish a ‘real’ world order
      destroying racism..and political debauchery
      i wish i was a obeah man
      an’ run foreign conglomerates
      who exact profits
      in a new wave of deception....

      i wish i was a obeah man
      to obliterate nepotism
      while at the same time licking up drug barons
      who pose as legitimate merchants

      i wish i was an obeah man
      to manifest and distribute spirit blows
      as deals are secretly made
      to devour the wealth of our people...

      i wish i was an obeah man
      to  manifest de
      over due national theatre

      i wish i was an obeah man
      and stabilize the T&T dollar
      ...depose the plantocracy
      to empower the landless...

      i wish i was an obeah man
      an’ stop police brutality

      i wish i was an obeah man
      an wok some true- true obeah

      but it is difficult to be
      an obeah practitioner
      when even the patrons are fakes
      while the deserving are chased
      away by bureaucracy....

      as some very important people
      seek me out
      in the dead of night.....



       
       


      NEW SELECTED POETRY
       EXCERPTS + REVIEWS FROM THE NEW ANTHOLOGY:
      WHETHER OR NOT
      by ROI KWABENA
      with an Introduction by Dr. Lauri Ramey
      & an Afterword byTerrance Brathwaite

      RAKA PUBLICATIONS
      port of spain - birmingham - omdurman

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
    © COPYRIGHT 2001
      No Hearts

      gone
      are the days
      of puppets, robots
      and bionic-men

      these tales
      are of nations ruled by
      ones who appear as humans
      with considerable intelligence,
      yet show no emotions...

      being manipulated from afar by
      some who feign compassion
      with plans for further destruction...

      my son enjoys these comics.


       Forgive Us Our Debts

      ........wish we had  a father
      not only in heaven
      but also on earth.

      we would forgive
      our debtors
      and all those who
      trespassed against us

      the genocide...
      the chattel slavery.....
      the indentureship.....
      the religious conversion....
      the plunder of our antiquities....
      the economic deprivation....
      the scientific exclusion....

      could we expect
      our debts to be forgiven
      so that we may feed our people
      we wont be led into
      military aggression

      we will uphold the ideals
      of tolerance and equality
      we will fair trade
      all commodities

      we will promote
      sustainable development
      and protect
      the earth's environment

      oh! can we expect
      our debts to be forgiven
      as we adhere to principles
      that will be beneficial to all of humanity

      we the rich-but considered poor nations
      of the southern hemisphere.....



      Courting new appeals

      Lord Harris's statue
      with fountain have escaped
      many vicious assaults of vandalism
      over recent years. This public square
      in Port of Spain with stately trees
      still shelter  white-collar labourers
      on lunch break from
      the sweltering sun at noon
      alongside half naked vagrants
      wary of clogged city streets. At night, here
      becomes a sacred haven-
      discreet
      for persecuted transvestites. While

      obliquely opposite towers
      the impregnable stone walls
      of the Royal Goal, constructed
      early in the last century
      by skilled artisans whose
      descendants would serve time within
      at her majesty's pleasure....

      This monumental institution has restrained
      common offenders and civil disorder :
      water rioters, trade unionists,
      black power radicals,military mutineers
      an' even Islamic fundamentalists...

      Royal Goal remains a treasure
      to behold. An imposing vestige
      of  a now compromised system
      that ostentatious political cronies
      are attempting to dismantle.

      Behind these walls
      faceless men, in white short trousers
      with matching vests
      sit precariously on Death Row
      as their defense lawyers
      seek to defy local verdicts
      of state execution

      Now in postulated affectation
      of self righteous apathy
      democratically elected
      British trained legal advocates-once
      defense lawyers to the highest bidders
      now as regional Attorney Generals
      assert it is time to abolish
      a convicted man's right of appeal
      to the Privy Council....

      none of these licit opportunists
      cloaked in the rainment
      of tempered tradition
      considered challenging
      this patriarchal eighteenth century
      method of castigation....

      .....despite
      the mature judgement of
      the same Privy Council condemning
      the barbaric tenure of incarceration
      with cerebral trauma
      of impending strangulation....



       
       
       


      WHETHER OR NOT

      RAKA Books is proud to announce the release of the long awaited new collection of selected poetry by Trinidadian born poet and cultural activist Dr. Roi  Kwabena.

      A formal launch+Reading took place at Waterstones High Street Branch in Birmingham,UK on Tuesday 18th September 2001, which was well attended.

      This unique collection consists of six sections that address issues of historical and cultural significance in relation to the Caribbean experience in the region and the wider Diaspora. Topics include responses by of the poet to the little known heritage of Caribbean Indigenous peoples; Caribbean Politics; Capital Punishment; Carnival;World Peace; Third World Debt Crisis; Global Warming; Disappearing  Children; Murder/Suicides & the under-estimated value of cultural diversity in his place of birth.

      Whether Or Not includes a concise glossary as well as the lyrics to the Spoken-Word Internet MP3 hits: Cascadura ,West India and Obeahman,. The latter poem/track has been on the charts for the past year (at number #5) at famed US based Internet music provider Rioport.com
       
       

      download
      A FREE MP3 TRACK
       

      Copies of the Spoken word CD : Y42K by R.K features spoken word, and music and drumology on the BluePlanet label.are available on order by email.

      The poem: Forgive us our Debts was also included on the CenterPoint compilation CD album in support of the Jubilee 2000 campaign against the Debt crisis of developing countries.

      Roi Kwabena is available internationally for Lectures, Readings, performances, panel discussions, signings, workshops etc. He is keen to promote cultural and functional literacy at festivals, cultural programmes, libraries, schools, universities and public venues.

      ABOUT THE POET

      Roi Kwabena is a national of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. He was born in 1956.

                 As a cultural activist, he has lectured, performed and conducted workshops at the request of numerous governments, city councils, universities, schools, libraries and cultural bodies across the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
                 Thousands of youngsters and adults, including pensioners  have benefited from his offerings. Many of his publications are considered vital reference materials for understanding the diverse cultural experiences of southern peoples.
                 A former Opposition Senator in his place of birth, in 2006 he is currently preparing for  the International Premiere of :"AS LONG AS " and "Orisha Songs for Celina" both new collections of poetry plus a new CD "MUURISH DANCING" featuring his immutable style of intriguing Dialogue, Dramatizations & Drumology.
                  Roi Kwabena was appointed the Poet-Laureate of Birmingham City, UK for the period-2001-2002.