Thursday, 26 July 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John’s - Local poet Linisa George recently had one of her original pieces included in “The World Record”, an international anthology of work by poets from all the countries taking part in the 2012 London Olympics.
The publication formed part of the recently held Poetry Parnassus festival in London. The event formed a major part of Festival of the World, and was an unprecedented gathering of poets invited in late June to take part in a week-long festival of readings, workshops and a host of other events at the prestigious Southbank Centre.
The participating poets were selected following an open nominations process last year which attracted nearly 5,000 public entries. The final group was then chosen by a panel led by Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre’s artistic director, and Simon Armitage, the festival’s curator.
The World Record reveals the world through its keenest observers, political activists and most articulate wordsmiths. There‘s something for every taste: new voices as well as world greats, rappers and spoken word artists as well as poets and storytellers. The publication marks the first time so many living poets from so many countries have been gathered in one anthology.
Poetry Parnassus curator refers to the historic volume as, “A unique publication; an Olympic event no less in ancient time.”
He continued, “The Southbank has sought to recreate a small piece of Greece along its riverside complex, namely Mount Parnassus, home to the muses and home to Orpheus, often described as ‘the first poet’. This ambitious anthology is not only a record of that extraordinary happening but an enduring and echoing experience, one that celebrates and honours a multitude of voices, languages and attitudes, all joined under the flag of poetry.”
George, who was selected to represent Antigua and Barbuda, submitted her autobiographical well-known poem “Brown Girl In The Ring” the story of a young dark-skinned girl’s emotional journey to self acceptance through self-inspection.
George is a poet, freelance writer, director and playwright and a strong advocate for gender justice. She is an executive member of Women of Antigua, a non-profit organisation established in 2008, and co-owner of August Rush Productions, a creative arts company. She also serves as the Director of The Young Poets Society of Antigua and Barbuda (YoPoSAB), an organisation that uses poetry to awaken the creative elements in youth ages 12 to 17.
The accomplished writer, who is also the 2010 co-winner of a National Youth Award for her contribution to the Literary Arts, is currently working with her YoPoSAB members as they prepare to perform at the launch of this year’s Antigua and Barbuda Review Of Books next month, where some of her work will be featured. The society will also continue to put the finishing touches on their first poetry publication to be released later this year.
Reflecting on her published piece in the anthology, George remarks, “To have my most personal poem (Brown Girl In The Ring) included in THE WORLD RECORD alongside Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature Derrick Walcott, is extremely humbling and exciting all at the same time. I had to submit seven pieces for them to choose from; it says a lot that they chose Brown Girl.”
A full version of “Brown Girl In The Ring” is presently being displayed on the walls of the Southbank Centre.
George resumes work on her other projects, including preparations to begin filming ‘Brown Girl Envy’, a documentary based on ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’. She will also continue to develop existing initiatives with her August Rush counterpart and creative equal, Zahra Airall, including their bi-monthly open mic nights’ Expressions; Poetry In The Pub, which has been influential in highlighting the local talent of spoken word artists and musicians in Antigua.
She presently blogs at www.blackgirlinthering.blogspot.com.
THE WORLD RECORD was published by Bloodaxe Books and is currently available on Amazon at a cost of £10. The historic paperback is a monumental poetic feast worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics. It celebrates the powerful combination of brave, cultural and political voices of the world’s poets.