Former educator Zelma White celebrated the launch of her first anthology My Reality: Poems on Tuesday evening at the Brades Arts & Education Centre.
White has previously performed her work at Open Mic events during the Alliouagana Festival of the Word. Her poetry has appeared in the international anthology Poems for the Hazara, published in 2014 and in Harnessing Creativity in Adversity: The Alliouagana Singers & Friends Under Lockdown in 2021.
White told Discover Montserrat that the new book comprises poetry written over several years. She admitted that she’d always been an avid lover of poetry but felt writing poems was best left to more eloquent writers. However, she credits being married and becoming more courageous to explore herself and her ideas to express herself through poetry.
My Reality: Poems touches on ageing, discrimination, freedom, faith, gratitude, grief, happiness, hell, love, marriage, music, nature, pain, self-knowledge, sex, and survival. The book is separated into four sections Knowing Me, Life, A Maestro Inspires, and Reflections.
In the Foreword, written by historian and poet Dr Howard Fergus KBE, Zelma is called “an adventurous writer who makes all aspects of life, including her own life, the stuff of poetry…
“Life is a strong section with the poem “Free” as the longest piece in the book; and her conception of freedom is intriguing and interesting. She may be a preacher but not a prude. Freedom means: Expose my thigh/When I want/bake a pie/When I want”. She is free to be her unique idiosyncratic self,” Fergus remarks.
The event was sponsored by the Montserrat Public Library.