Wednesday, 12 April 2017

CULTURE VULTURE: Lorna Goodison heads Talking Trees lineup + UWI readies for Tanya Stephens symposium

REBEL WITH A CAUSE! Tanya Stephens may not yet have a Grammy in her trophy case, but she gets lots of love from the academic community. Her lyrics consistently provide intriguing discussion material for reggae and dancehall studies classes, but come mid-year the University of the West Indies will be celebrating her contribution to Jamaican music in a big way. On June 14, a groundbreaking symposium dubbed “Rough Riding: Tanya Stephens and the Power of Music to Transform Society” will be hosted on the Mona campus to “honour, celebrate and affirm her body of work while critically subjecting it to scholarly and political interrogation.” 

The event is being organized by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies and the Institute of Caribbean Studies, who put Stephens’s “lyrical contribution, social justice commentary and political analysis on par with her musical counterparts such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Mutabaruka and Linton Kwesi Johnson.” The campus’ Neville Hall Lecture Theatre will host the symposium, for which artistes and cultural producers are being invited to contribute poems, songs, dub selections and paintings, all related to the work of Tanya Stephens. For more info, contact the organizing committee at 

SAVE THE DATE! Waiting-in-the-wings Poet Laureate of Jamaica Lorna Goodison is set to headline this year’s Talking Trees Literary Fiesta, which returns to the Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach, St. Bess, on May 27, for a full day of poetry and fiction readings, theatrical performances, fashion, food and fellowship. Stay tuned for details (including the names of confirmed participants) in the coming weeks.

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