Thursday, December 27, 2012

Poetry, Pudding and Punch 2012

Renaee Perrier Smith

Congratulations to Ms. Natalie Morris, of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, St. James on the second staging of Poetry, Pudding and Punch, which took place on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at Robin’s Steakhouse Restaurant, Altamont West Hotel on Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay. As MC for the evening, Natalie made sure that the programme flowed smoothly.     
    This year, in addition to pudding, other Jamaican baked Christmas Treats, including carrot cake, sweet potato pudding and rock cakes were temptingly set out for visitors to sample. These had been prepared by Renaee Perrier Smith, culinary artist and author of two Jamaican Cookbooks. Renaee, who currently resides in New Jersey, took us on a trip down memory lane with anecdotes from her school days. I was most interested to hear her story, having taught her biology at Montego Bay Community College, many years ago. I knew her as a math whiz, so was not surprised to learn that she had followed her studies in the USA with a 15-year career in finance. Indulging in her hobby of baking, she took pleasure in treating her co-workers to her cakes. So delighted were they, that they encouraged her to make baking her career. An outcome of this venture was her first cookbook, “Jamaica’s Forgotten Treats” containing recipes passed down by her mother and grandmother. For her second, “Memba When”, she drew on memories of staples such as cocobread and cheese, water crackers (with everything!) and bagjuice, from her school days. To read more about Renaee, see her website . Thank you, Renaee, for sending your photographs to use for this post.
Mervin Spence
    The guest poet was Mervin Spence, who won a gold medal in this year’s Creative Writing Contest. He has performed in Movies, Commercials T.V., Radio, Music Videos. He’s probably best known at the present time for “Pay your taxes,” the T.V. commercial in which he is sitting in the chair at the barber’s shop. In addition to being a poet and an actor, he is also a Fine Art Painter, an Artistic Director of Movies and Plays, a Cosmetologist, a Lighting & Set Designer, a Drafting and Building Technologist, and a Real Estate Salesman. Mervin explained to us how he came to be wearing so many hats, and entertained us with dub-poetry and other poetry. He has a poetry book and CD “From the Streets to the World”.
Trecia Williams

Among other presenters of the evening was gold-medal winning poet, Mrs. Trecia Williams, who delighted us with a variety of poems. She also included dub-poetry in her repertoire and was accompanied by Ms. Ileen Leslie, of Montego Bay Infant School, on drums. The photograph shows her with her ode to a tangerine.

Annastacia Irving
An up-and-coming poet, a student from Herbert Morrison High School, Annastacia Irving impressed us with her talent, range of styles, confidence and poise. Although I hadn’t entered the JCDC Creative Writing Contest this year, I was invited to make a presentation. I read excerpts from “Delroy in the Marog Kingdom”. A few brave souls then accepted the invitation to the “open mic”.

Organizer and MC Natalie Morris
Miss Astarte Daley of JCDC surprised Natalie Morris and a few members of the audience by inviting them to join her on stage in celebration of Herbert Morrison Technical High School. Some of them were members of the first graduating class (who would prefer us not to know how long ago that was!). Reunions for alumni of that class living abroad have taken place recently.

Although Poetry, Pudding and Punch is delightful entertainment for the Christmas Season, the absence of so many of JCDC’Ss poetry loving friends may be attributed to the large number of events taking place at this time of year. Writers all, I hope you are busy preparing your submissions for entry in the 2013 Creative Writing Contest, due at the end of June, and that medal-winning or not, we will hear you reading them at the next staging of Poetry, Pudding and Punch.

Me reading from Delroy in the Marog Kingdom


1 comment:

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