Nomad by Yvonne Weekes was just published here by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), in time for the 17th annual St. Martin Book Fair, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.
Nomad is a poetry collection of “stubborn grit,” said scholar Dr. George Irish. Hot off the press, Nomad—and the novel Plastered in Pretty by Vincentian Natasha Marks—is a featured book at the opening ceremony of the literary festival on Thursday, June 6, said Sample.
Dr. Weekes, one of 26 guest authors and workshop coordinators of the St. Martin Book Fair, is a theater arts lecturer at The University of the West Indies in Barbados.
St. Martin Book Fair-goers will get the first pick of Nomad, signed by the author at the festival opening “Under the Literary Big Tent” at Lazy Bay parking lot, Marigot, at 8 PM; at Friday’s international literary evening at Rancho del Sol restaurant, French Quarter; and on the main book fair day, Saturday, June 8, at the University of St. Martin, Philipsburg, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, said Sample.
Nomad’s captivating cover encloses a range of troubling and triumphant experiences, often between family members and between immigrants and their host countries. Weekes also opens her own life in a way “which i nvva see before,” said world-renowned poet Kamau Brathwaite.
Weekes was born in the UK to Montserratian parents; she was a refugee with her young son after the Soufrière volcano explosion; and has been living in Barbados since 1996, where she is also known for developing the Associate degree in theater arts at Barbados Community College.
In an early review, Jamaican performance artist A-dziko Simba Gegele said, “Nomad is a survivors’ handbook and a travelers’ guide for anyone who has known the burden of a life bundled into bags.”
Irish takes another insightful approach: “After the explosion of the Soufrière Hills volcano … in ‘exile’ from her beloved Montserrat … choking memories of the flaming mountain follow the poet like an ominously ghostly and untamable spectre of awe and fear that awakens in her the determination to face life’s challenges with stubborn grit.”
The Wadabagai journal editor and academic, Irish, reviewed the Nomad manuscript before he passed away in early 2019.
Nomad is available at www.SPDbooks.org for Internet orders, said Sample.