British university teaching Lasana Sekou’s Nativity in 2010

Lasana M. Sekou, Nativity taught in England in 2010

GREAT BAY, St. Martin— Nativity, the new poetry book by Lasana Sekou, is being taught at the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Nativity is one of two core books for the course “Introduction to the Spanish Caribbean: History, Literature & Popular culture.” The class is taught by Conrad M. James, professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

One of the course objectives is to allow students to “Demonstrate an understanding of the creative strategies used in Caribbean literature, film and music to respond to major issues in the region’s history,” said Dr. James.

Nativity is a quintessentially Caribbean work,” said Dr. James, “It is partly this commitment to understanding the Caribbean in regional rather than narrow national terms, which accounts for the brilliant erudition of the text” by the St. Martin writer.

Nativity was published here and launched in Marigot last June as an English, French and Spanish edition. Its extensive glossary of cultural, political, and historical terms, personalities, places, events, and dates, is also in the three languages, said Sample.

In other news reaching HNP this week, Sekou is featured in Poetas del Caribe inglés: Antología edited by Canadian professor Keith Ellis, said Sample.

“With Nativity and Poetas del Caribe inglés among the 2010 books getting attention, more people will come to know about St. Martin and Caribbean people, their writings and cultures,” said Sample.

The Venezuelan book is part of the country’s “unprecedented” boosting of literature among the population and making books available at affordable prices, said the publisher Perro y la rana.

In the book’s preface the novelist Austin Clarke writes that Poetas del Caribe inglés (Caribbean Poets Writing in English) “is a marvelous collection of the very best of West Indian poetry.” The Spanish-English book is a Poetry of the World series title from the Simon Bolivar Center geared toward the Venezuelan academic and mass market.

Sekou’s poem “Liberation Theology” was selected for the book.

The title includes works from rising literary stars, established authors, and lyrical poetic legends such as Christian Campbell, Jennifer Rahim, Kamau Brathwaite, Frank Collymore, George Lamming, Rei Beroa, E. Markham, Jan Carew, Claude McKay, Derek Walcott, Louise Bennette, Martin Carter, Obediah Smith, Merle Collins, Arnold Itwaru, Afua Cooper, Bob Marley and Mighty Sparrow.

About 69 poets from 13 countries and territories in the Caribbean are found in the two-volume Venezuelan anthology.

Photo caption:Lasana M. Sekou, Nativity taught in England in 2010.

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