Sandberry PressToronto, Canada
SANDBERRY AT SYMPATICO DOT CA
14 November 2005 PRESS RELEASE
Sandberry Press announces the publication and launch of two new volumes of poetry by Caribbean and Canadian authors.The True Blue of Islands
, by Pamela Mordecai
, and Calling Cards
, an anthology featuring mostly newly published poets, will be launched at Nicholas Hoare Bookstore on Thursday November 24 at 6.00 p.m.The True Blue of Islands
is Mordecai’s fourth volume of poetry, and follows her popular Certifiable
, published in 2001. This latest volume celebrates the life of her brother Richard, who was murdered in 2004.Calling Cards
is an anthology of poems by six poets, four of them with roots in the Caribbean. For all but one of them, Calling Cards
is their first publication in book form. Jamaican-born Mary Liu Soutar Hines published The fires of naming
in 2001. Nan Peacocke, originally from St Vincent, and Canadians Janet Somerville and Jennifer Walcott, the latter of Jamaican parentage, have had poems in literary journals. Calling Cards
s represents first publication of poetry by Celia Ferrier, an American-born Canadian, and Keisha Silvera, born in Toronto of Jamaican parents.
Sandberry Press, founded in Jamaica in 1986 to publish Caribbean poetry and children’s literature, is now established in Toronto. The True Blue of Islands
is volume nine in the press’s Caribbean Poetry Series; previous volumes include work by Edward Baugh (Jamaica), Jane King (St Lucia), and Dennis Scott (Jamaica). Calling Cards
inaugurates Sandberry’s Caribbean Anthology Series.
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SANDBERRY AT SYMPATICO DOT CA
# # #Notes on books and authors
Sandberry Press publishes Caribbean and Canadian poetry for adults as well as books for children. Founded in 1986 in Jamaica, its main operations moved to Toronto, Canada in 1994. The emphasis of its modest publication programme is on first collections, and six of these have been published in its Caribbean Poetry Series of nine volumes. Calling Cards
inaugurates an anthology series that remains true to the first collection focus of the press.The True Blue of Islands
by Pamela Mordecai
From back coverThe True Blue of Islands
is a collection of poems that, for the most part, explore violence. The book begins with the brutal treatment of Great-Granny Mac, a slave, then takes ironic account of ‘Sunflowers’ who endure abuse as well as inflict it on themselves, ending with the mindless murder of the poet’s brother. Harnessing a broad range of Jamaican idioms, the poet tackles her subject with occasional wry humour, superb craft and dreadful honesty. These poems are heartbreaking but, unfailingly, they sing.A beautiful collection. A short, compact piece of grace, deeply felt and immaculately crafted, thick with personal allusions and references, telling a massive story. A splendid accomplishment.
— Kwame Dawes
Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, U of S.C.
Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative
Praise for Certifiable
:Pamela Mordecai is one of the most brilliant and witty of our poets...
— Kamau Brathwaite…witty and high spirited…spiced with piquant humour…
— Barbara Carey, The Toronto Starvery rich linguistically, imaginatively, and thematically
— D. M. Thomas— powerful, mischievous haunting poems…
Stewart Brown— Certifiable invokes subversive, irreverent, but infinitely complex women’s voices and affirms their singing, not to deny suffering, but to give account f it, in a complex emotional landscape and without submission or despair.
- Elaine Savory- Under your feet as you follow, under your tongue as you read, these poems snap with brittle honesty and boundless energy.
- Emily Schultz, Siren- Pamela Mordecai’s facility with language, her striking rhythms and word play and, above all, her wicked humour lift Certifiable from the pull of madness to the divine.
- Olive SeniorCALLING CARDS
The six women whose poems appear in this book are relatively new voices. Only one, Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes, has previously published a collection of her own. The poetry of Celia Ferrier and the late Keisha Silvera appears here for the first time. Nan Peacocke, Janet Sommerville and Jennifer Walcott have published in journals and anthologies in Canada and abroad. Five of these poets were born in other countries and chose to make Canada their home, four being born in the Caribbean. The youngest, a powerful talent, died early. Their signatures are distinctive.CALLING CARDS
is edited by Pamela Mordecai
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
CELIA FERRIER attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Toronto, the Arvon Foundation Writers Workshop at Moniakmhor, Invernessshire, and the Humber School for Writers. She has taught English and Drama in Scotland and in Toronto. With Yanna McIntosh she wrote “Trace”, a one-woman show produced at Toronto’s Fringe Theatre Festival in 1997.
PAMELA MORDECAI has written about Caribbean literature and compiled textbooks and anthologies, mostly of the writing of Caribbean women. She has written plays, short stories, five children’s books, four collections of poetry and (with her husband, Martin) a reference work on Jamaica. Sandberry Press published her most recent book, The True Blue of Islands
, in 2005.
NAN PEACOCKE, a citizen of Canada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, was born in Guyana, and grew up in Trinidad, Venezuela and Jamaica. Based in rural Ontario, she moves between Toronto, St Vincent and Barbados. She is a recipient of a Commonwealth Broadcasting Award 2000 and co-winner of the 2003 Timothy Findley Prize for short fiction.
KEISHA SILVERA is the daughter of Toronto writer, Makeda Silvera. A gifted poet, her work appears for the first time in this anthology. She died in 2002.
JANET SOMERVILLE is grateful for poet Olive Senior's guidance at the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop. She workshopped memoir excerpts under Catherine Gildiner's direction at the Banff Centre's Fall 2005 Writing With Style programme. She lives in Toronto where she competes on a Masters Women's rowing crew.
MARY LOU SOUTAR-HYNES, a Jamaican-Canadian, poet/educator and former nun, lives and works in Toronto. The fires of naming, her first poetry collection, was published in Toronto by Seraphim Editions in 2001. A member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, her work has appeared in a variety of journals. Travelling Light
, her second poetry collection, is forthcoming from Seraphim Editions in 2006.
JENNIFER WALCOTT, born and raised in Jamaica, adopted Canada where she has lived for many years. Work in community development, radio, organizational change and secondary education defined much of her life. Now, well into her middle years, she combines teaching English with writing and handicrafts to achieve balance and comfort.AfterwordSandberry Press is pleased to inaugurate its anthology series with this collection – the first of what we hope will be a continuing series. In presenting the poetry of these six women, we remain true to two important aspects of our mandate. The first is to bring the work of new writers to the public; the second is to present Caribbean voices to the public.
When the press began, that ‘public’ was primarily a Caribbean public since the press was based at that time in Kingston, Jamaica. There are six million people or thereabouts in the anglophone Caribbean, where the publishing industry is young and the business of earning a living presses hard. Still, the books in the Caribbean Poetry Series have done well.
Sandberry Press now publishes in Canada and for the Canadian marketplace as well. It fulfills the press’s mandate of offering new poets the opportunity to publish their work in an increasingly competitive market