St. Maarten poet Lysanne “GoddessEye” Charles at Word, a Caribbean Lit Fest in New York. (L. Charles photo)
PHILIPSBURG–Artistes helping each other to perform to new audiences is what St. Maarten poet Lysanne “GoddessEye” Charles credits for her participation in “Word, a Caribbean Lit Fest” in Brooklyn, New York, on June 11. “I’m very appreciative of St. Maarten poet and visual artist Deborah Drisana Jack for linking me with the event organizers,” said Charles reflecting on her experiences. Charles joined spoken-word artistes and authors from Haiti, Panama, Jamaica, St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago and from the region’s diaspora in the United States for the 10th edition of the literary festival.
“The highlight for me was speaking to amazing Caribbean writers that I had heard about over time and getting to purchase one or two of their books,” said Charles.
For her poetry recital Charles read from Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin, the first book in which her poems were published. She also participated in one of the panel discussions.
“It was a pleasure to recite before an audience that included one of my poetic mentors, Queen GodIs, who I met through Art Saves Lives and who came through to see me perform,” said Charles.
“All of the authors were also provided with space to sell their books to those in attendance. I was able to cooperate with House of Nehesi Publishers to display several of the company’s books, including Where I See the Sun,” said Charles.
“It was great having people come by the book table and look at the great selections from House of Nehesi, and to hear how highly many of the regional authors spoke about this St. Maarten institution,” she said.
Charles, who is also known here for her human-rights advocacy, said she was happy for the opportunity to represent St. Maarten/St. Martin in New York and hopes that more of the island’s poets will be featured at the event in years to come.
“Word, a Caribbean Lit Fest” is a poets-and-passion project of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Inc. According to organizers, the aim of the one-day festival is to connect Caribbean-focused writers and performers and to provide them with new audiences for their works.