The Miami Book Fair International opens Sunday, and among the many readings and presentations will be a handful of events focusing on a half-century of independence in the English-speaking Caribbean. Novelists, poets and researchers from Jamaica plus Trinidad and Tobago, and other islands, will consider whether their nations’ independence has lived up to its potential or changed the Caribbean identity.
Jamaican-born poet Shara McCallum told me that what makes Caribbean writers sound different is their layered use of language, equally fluent in standard English and in the island quirks of vocabulary and grammar.
“You’re going to hear orality, and patois or vernacular or creole,” McCallum says. “It’s not just an accent.”
… Out in the yard turning gray in the dawn, I stood like a stone and nothing else move but the cold sea rippling like galvanize and the nail holes of stars in the sky roof, till a wind start to interfere with the trees. …