Over the coming weeks we will share with you some of the wonderful moments, highlights and photos from the recently concluded National Poetry Festival. This week, the beautiful village of Charlotteville:
On the morning of March 17th, our facilitators journeyed to Charlotteville for an exciting programme of Storytelling, Poetry, Music and Workshopping geared specifically for the beautiful Charlotteville, Tobago setting.
The group of primary school children came from four schools from the Speyside/Charlotteville area. They filled the auditorium of the Charlotteville Library to hear tales of Ma Rose, after whom Ma Rose point was named. We spoke of JD Elder, John Arnold and other heroes of Tobago, all in the context of teaching the history and culture and using the strength and example of their ancestors and icons to assist these youngsters to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Ma Rose story was particularly captivating to the teachers and library staff who were unaware of this aspect of Tobago history and folklore.
In the context of the Festival theme, the chief facilitator, Poet Laureate Eintou Pearl Springer was assisted by Kepha Yaseph who took the theme of empowerment further by telling the children they could be whatever they wanted to be and helped them to create their own songs. Kevin McMayo, actor, was a fearsome Devil, as he dramatically enacted one of his monologues from Ms. Springer's play about HIV/AIDS and Right Choices, ‘Baby Doll Meets Midnight Robber.'
During the afternoon session, we eschewed the designated intervention space, taking our programme into the heart of the community down to the Charlotteville Fish depot. Here we were joined by the Hope Anglican Primary School Speech Band performers. The people came from all directions to join those already there.
There was a group of young women present and Ms. Springer took the opportunity to address the question of Domestic Violence in poetry and discuss the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation which was the ‘hot' topic at the time. The young women initially felt that she deserved the beating; there was much discussion about these issues and an eventual bonding amongst the women present.
The community elders who were there, loudly added their agreement and support and even spontaneously closed off the road traffic for the duration of the workshop. There was another dramatic presentation from Kevin Mc Mayo emerging fully costumed as the Devil from behind the Waterfront shack to shrieks of terror from those assembled.
Secretary of the Circle of Poets, Nicholas Sosa also performed for the appreciate audience. We left Charlotteville, very sad to leave, but filled with the memories, smiles and warm community spirit from the beautiful, wonderful people of this magical village.
Warmest blessings to you all!