CONTRIBUTORS NOTES

Dr. Opal Palmer Adisa, Jamaica-born, is a sought-after speaker who has lectured throughout the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Germany, England and Prague. An award-winning poet and prose writer Dr. Adisa has eleven titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), that Rick Ayers proclaimed as one of the most motivational works for young adults. She has been a resident artist in internationally acclaimed residencies such as Binational Fulbright Institute (Egypt), Sacatar Institute (Brazil) and Headlines Center for the Arts (California, USA). Opal Palmer Adisa’s work has been reviewed by Ishmael Reed, Al Young, and Alice Walker (Color Purple), who described her work as “solid, visceral, important stories written with integrity and love.”

Gwyneth Barber-Wood, Though she came late to poetry, Gwyneth Barber-Wood made up for it with an all-consuming passion and dedication to the craft; and her poetry deepened emotionally and grew in mastery, year by year. She was a regular contributor to the Jamaica Observer Arts Magazine and, latterly, the Sunday Gleaner Arts Section. Her first collection, The Garden of Forgetting, was published by Peepal Tree Press (Leeds, England) in 2005; a second collection is forthcoming. At her death, Barber-Wood was one of Jamaica's leading poets and was acquiring an international reputation.

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Born in Trinidad and raised in New York City Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet and teaching artist. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Convincing the Body, Night When Moon Follows, and Raw Air. Boyce-Taylor's poems have been included in numerous literary journals, including, The Mom Egg, Bowery Women, Voices Rising, Callaloo, and Carry the Word. She works as a Poetry Mentor for Urban WordNYC, and is currently enrolled at Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Michela A. Calderaro, an Associate Editor of Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters, teaches English and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Trieste (Italy). Ms. Calderaro, whose critical works include a book on Ford Madox Ford and numerous articles on British, American and Anglophone Caribbean women writers, is currently working on Creole writer Eliot (Eileen) Bliss’s biography. Her edition of unpublished poems by Eliot Bliss is due out by Fall 2008.

Myriam J. A. Chancy, Ph.D., is a Haitian writer born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and educated in Québec City, Winnipeg and Halifax. Her first novel, Spirit of Haiti (London : Mango Publications, 2003), was a finalist in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region, of the Commonwealth Prize 2004. She is also the author of two books of literary criticism, Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women (Rutgers UP, 1997) and Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile (Temple UP, 1997). Searching for Safe Spaces was awarded an Outstanding Academic Book Award 1998 by Choice, the journal of the American Library Association. She is also the author of a second novel, The Scorpion's Claw (Peepal Tree Press, 2005). Her work as the Editor-in-Chief of the Ford funded academic/arts journal, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism (2002-2004) was recognized with the Phoenix Award for Editorial Achievement (2004). She has just completed a third novel entitled, The Loneliness of Angels, a memoir, Fractured, and is at work on a book length academic work entitled, Floating Islands: Cosmopolitanism, Transnationalism and Racial Identity Formation. She is currently Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Brian Carey Chung choreographer and poet, is currently an MFA student and adjunct professor in creative writing at New York University. He is a member of Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and has been published in Open City, Spoon River Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills, Modern Words, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian where he was a winner of its 13th annual competition. Prior to returning to school, Brian performed as principle dancer and soloist in the companies of internationally acclaimed choreographers Karole Armitage, Alonzo King, and Dwight Rhoden. He has taught master classes and guest lectured on dance at New York University, University of Arizona, Stanford University, and University of Hawaii. Additionally, he has served as rehearsal assistant to Mr. Rhoden's company for its 2005 New York season, as ballet master to Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco, and on the faculties of San Francisco Dance Center and Peridance in New York. As a choreographer, Brian has created ballets for the Santa Barbara Ballet, Cedar Lake Ensemble II, and Luna Negra Dance Theatre. This summer, Brian will be the assistant choreographer to Karole Armitage in the Public Theatres production of Hair.

Frances-Marie Coke is a Senior Teaching Fellow-Mona School of Business, University of The West Indies. Ms. Coke’s first book of poetry The Balm of Dusk Lilies was published by The Observer Literary Publications in 2001. Her poems have also been published in Bearing Witness 1, Bearing Witness 2 and Bearing Witness 3 – anthologies published by The Jamaica Observer Literary Publications. She has been the winner of several JCDC awards for poetry and short stories, and has won a National Book Development Council Special Award for her collection of poems.

Steven Cramer is the author of four poetry collections: The Eye that Desires to Look Upward, The World Book, Dialogue for the Left and Right Hand, and Goodbye to the Orchard (2004), which was named a 2005 Massachusetts Honor Book and won the Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club. His poems and criticism have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, Triquarterly, and elsewhere. Recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he directs the MFA program in creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Carroll Edwards Born in Clarendon, Jamaica, Carroll Edwards attended St. Hugh’s High School, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where she pursued post graduate studies in Journalism. She worked in the civil service and the media before joining the staff of the University of the West Indies where she is currently Senior Assistant Registrar (Public Relations) and part-time Lecturer at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication. Her short stories have appeared in the Observer Literary Arts Magazine, the Sunday Gleaner Arts Section and Bearing Witness. Writing is a hobby and she has received gold, silver and bronze medals as well as the 2006 Choice Writer Trophy in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) annual Creative Writing Competition.

Verna Georgehas been a member of the Wayne Brown Writing Workshop (Kingston, JA) since 2001. Her poems have appeared in local newspapers (The Jamaica Observer and The Sunday Gleaner); Bearing Witness 3: The Best of the Observer Literary Arts Magazine 2002; The Caribbean Writer; Kunapipi; Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters; and Caribbean Writing Today. Awards include: 2nd place in the Jamaica Observer's Annual Arts Magazine Awards (2003, 2004 and 2005) and silver and bronze medals in the Jamaica Cultural Development Corporation National Literary Arts Competition 2001. In 2007 she completed a MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at Lesley University (Cambridge, MA). A librarian at the University of the West Indies (Mona) Library, she is married with two sons.

Danielle Legros Georges is a writer, translator, the author of a volume of poems, Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001). Her work has also appeared in journals including Agni, Black Renaissance Noire, and Callaloo, in anthologies including Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature; The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from The Haitian Dyaspora in the United States; Bum Rush the Page; Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art; and Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century. She is an Associate Professor in Arts in Learning Division of Lesley University.

Millicent A. Graham is a member of the Wayne Brown Writers workshop and has participated in the Calabash Writers Workshops. She has won local awards for her poetry including the well-established Observer Literary Award for Poetry in 2005 and silver and bronze in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Literary Arts Competition in 2005 & 2007. Her work has been published in the anthology Bearing Witness 3 and in The Caribbean Writer.

Hyacinth Hallis a graduate of the University of the West Indies (Mona) where she earned a Ph.D., in Educational Psychology. She has worked at the University of Technology, University of the West Indies (Mona), University of Sierra Leone, University College of the Caribbean and has been a consultant for UNICEF and UNIFEM. Since her retirement she has been writing poetry and is a member of Wayne Brown's Poetry Workshop. Her work has been published in both the Gleaner and the Observer.

Janine Joseph was born in the Philippines, and now lives in both California and New York. Her recent publications include poems in or forthcoming from Third Coast, Spoon River Poetry Review, Nimrod International Journal, Salt Hill, Fugue, and Caribbean Writing Today. A Kundiman fellow, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Riverside and the Creative Writing Program at New York University. In the fall, she will begin her doctoral studies at the University of Houston.

Sharon Leach was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where she lives and works as a columnist for the Jamaica Observer, as well as editor for Bookends, the paper’s weekly literary arts supplement. Also a fiction writer, she has been anthologized in Bearing Witness 2000, 2001, 2002; Kunapipi, Journal of Postcolonial Writing; Iron Balloons: Fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop; and Blue Latitudes: An Anthology of Caribbean Women Fiction Writers. Her short fiction has also appeared in the Jamaica Journal and Caribbean Writing Today. Her first collection of stories, What You Can’t Tell Him: Stories, was recently published.

Cordella Wallace Lewis graduated from the University of The West Indies with a first degree in English, Spanish and Geography, and a second degree (M.Phil.) in West Indian Writing. She later completed a Certificate in Distance Education For Development at the University of London, and the Open University at Milton Keynes in the U.K. respectively. A trained graduate of Shortwood Teachers College, she taught for 15 years and practiced school supervision for another 15 years before retiring from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture in the late nineties. As a member of the prestigious Writers Workshop conducted by Wayne Vincent Brown, her short stories, poems and articles, have appeared in both the Sunday Observer and the Sunday Gleaner for more than 8 years. She is now writing a novel.

Ann-Margaret Lim lives in the hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica, where outside of work, she reads poetry and prose and swoons over her daughter Kayla. She lists meeting Sir Derek Walcott, attending both Wayne Brown and Prof Mervyn Morris workshops, and reading D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow as some highpoints of her literary experience.

Earl McKenzie McKenzie teaches philosophy at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He is a much published fiction and poetry writer in addition to being an accomplished visual artist.

Marianela Medrano is a Dominican writer and psychotherapist, living in Connecticut since 1990. She offers workshops and readings in various venues in Connecticut and other parts of the country. In her workshops, she combines literature, psychology, and her research on the Sacred Feminine to help others find new ways of knowing the wholeness of human beings. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology. Medrano has published the following poetry books: Oficio de Vivir (1986), Los Alegres Ojos de la Tristeza (1987), Regando Esencias/The Scent of Waiting (1998) and Curada de Espantos (2002).

Yvonne C. Murphy held a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University and received a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Yvonne currently lives in Queens, NY, and teaches Cultural Studies at Empire State College.

Anton Nimblett is a native of Trinidad and Tobago who lives and writes in Brooklyn. His fiction appeared in African American Review, African Voices, Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters and Our Caribbean, an anthology of LGBT Caribbean Literature, edited by Thomas Glave. He read fiction and poetry at Louder Arts, Cornelia Street Cafe, Harlem Tea Room and as part of Cheryl Boyce-Taylor’s Q2 series at Bowery Poetry Club. In 2006 he joined with others to perform Tongues Unchained: A Tribute to Other Countries at Long Island University’s Kumble Theater.

Lasana M. Sekou, author, publisher. Among Sekou’s 13 books of poetry, monologues, and short stories are 37 Poems, The Salt Reaper – Poems from the flats and Brotherhood of the Spurs. The writings of the St. Martin author have been required reading at Caribbean and North American universities. Sekou’s poetry and reviews of his work have appeared in Callaloo, The Massachusetts Review, Del Caribe, De Gids, Das Gedicht, Prometeo, World Literature Today, Postcolonial Text, Caribbean Review of Books, and Boundary 2. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, and Chinese. Awards and honors include an IWW Visiting Fellow (Hong Kong Baptist University), a James Michener Fellow (University of Miami), a knighthood (The Netherlands), Recognition for literary excellence in the service of Caribbean unity (Dominican Republic), Culture Time Literary Artist of the Decade, Carlos Cooks Community Service Award, Distinguished Visitor (La Romana, Dominican Republic), and CTO/Conde Nast Award of Excellence. Sekou is an advocate for the independence and unification of St. Martin, which is a colony of France and the Netherlands.

Robert “Bob” Stewart is the author of Religion and Society in Post-Emancipation Jamaica. He is a poet and literary critic as well as a historian. Cane Cut, a collection of his poems, was published in Jamaica in 1988. He has taught Caribbean history and literature and has published a number of articles on writers in the Caribbean diaspora in the past thirty years. He is a contributor to several reference publications, including Twentieth Century Caribbean and Black African Writers in the Dictionary of Literary Biography series. Stewart currently teaches the course “New York City and Caribbean Writers” at Trinity School in Manhattan.

Yolaine M. St. Fort Fort is a writer of Haitian descent. Her short stories and novel excerpts have appeared in Downtown Brooklyn, Prose Ax and in Szirine. She recently completed her second novel and is currently working on a collection of poems and short stories. She teaches creative writing at Edward R. Murrow High School and is the advisor of the school’s literary magazine, The Magnet. She works as an adjunct instructor at LIU where she obtained her MA in creative writing in 2000.

Gus Edwards, is a playwright/educator. He is from St.Thomas, Virgin Islands but studied theatre and filmmaking in the US. His first plays were presented by the Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) and later in several venues across the US and abroad. He adapted James Baldwin’s novel Go Tell IT on the Mountain for TV and has published several books and anthologies about African American Theatre. Some of his play titles include: The Offering, Lifetimes on the Streets, Louie and Ophelia and Caribbean Babylon. Mr. Edwards is a tenured professor at Arizona State University.

Vanessa Simmns, Born and raised in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanessa Simmons moved to Canada to pursue a University education. She received an Honours degree in Comparative Literature and Culture, and works as a library assistant when not writing.

Roberto Strongman, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Strongman's interdisciplinary approach encompasses the fields of Religion, History, and Sexuality in order to further his main area of research and teaching: Comparative Caribbean Cultural Studies. Dr. Strongman's trans-national and multi-lingual approach to the Caribbean cultural zone are grounded in La Créolité, a movement developed at L'Université des Antilles et de La Guyane in Martinique, where he studied as a dissertation fellow. His articles have appeared in Journal of Haitian Studies, Journal of Caribbean Studies, Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Callaloo, Kunapipi, Wadabagei, and the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies.