Tuesday, April 15, 2014

JCDC Creative Writing Exhibition at St. James Parish Library

Dorothy Noel, Guest Speaker

The JCDC Creative Writing Exhibition Tour Official Opening took place at St. James Parish Library on April 3, 2014, with a small but appreciative audience. The schools present were Naz Prep and Herbert Morrison Technical High, with their teachers. Other schools which had confirmed their attendance didn’t put in an appearance, much to the disappointment of the hard-working organizer and Chairman of the function, Ms. Natalie Morris. After her opening remarks, she introduced Ms. Joan Pinkney, Licensing and Membership Manager of JAMCOPY, who brought greetings and explained the purpose of JAMCOPY
Joan Pinkney
Then came samples of creative writing. I read an excerpt from my silver-medal winning novel “The Last of the Marogs” in which Delroy travels through time and finds himself in a Taino village, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is the last book of the trilogy which began with “Delroy in the Marog Kingdom”.
Dario Shields
Dario Shields read an excerpt from Ghetto Born, God Raised, a book inspired by his mother and his circumstances. He hopes that through reading the book, persons will learn lessons about life and themselves. A student from Naz Prep read a poem by fellow student, Zari Gourzong. 
Mikail Clarke

Mikail Clarke, Grade 10 student at Cornwall College, a winner in the JamaicaVision 2030 essay competition, recited the poem “Mi Black, Mi Proud”.  He is also Junior Mayor of Montego Bay. Although young, his bearing, self-confidence, acting ability and awareness definitely qualify him for this position. 
Natalie Morris asking for more 'Open Mike' participants

                 The guest speaker was Ms Dorothy Noel, retired Publishing Manager at Carlong. She gave a wide-ranging address entitled “You can be a writer, too”, and began by quoting Indian Film Director, Mira Nair’s famous line, “If we don’t tell our stories, who will?” People should also write to develop self-confidence and as an outlet for artistic expression, as did Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon, in his book “Gifted Hands”. Then she outlined the qualities of a writer for the 5 categories in the JCDC Creative Writing Contest - poetry, short stories, novels, plays and essays.
All writers, she stated, have fertile imaginations, have a voice, edit and rewrite, read good books and are well read. Reading helps writers to see how celebrated authors use language and themes. For short stories and novels, Ms Noel recommended Diane Browne and Hazel Campbell, Jamaican children’s writers who have been published by Carlong. Her mention of Olive Senior’s “Summer Lightning” prompted me to reread stories in the anthology of that title.
For poetry, Ms Noel praised Kei Miller, whom she described as Jamaica’s best young poet. She urged us to read his new collection “The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion”, which illustrates the way in which a poet reaches for deeper levels of meaning. In relation to plays, the writer must bear in mind that the script is to be performed and therefore requires directions as well as dialogue. In order to maintain interest, the rhythm should vary. She also stressed the importance of having others read our work, and reiterated the point that writers need to edit and rewrite.
      After Ms. Noel’s address, and the Chairman’s closing remarks, we all moved to the entrance hall of the library where the Exhibition was set up. Ms. Morris then declared the Exhibition open. 

Naz Prep students reading award-winning poems

Opening of Exhibition

1 comment:

Hazel Campbell said...

Sounds as if a good time was had by all. Pity some won't make the effort to attend functions like these.