Women’s Day. Do you know how many St. Martin women have written books?

Offshore Editing Services
Par Offshore Editing Services 7 Mar 2014 09:07

Women’s Day. Do you know how many St. Martin women have written books?

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin (March 6, 2014)—Do you know how many St. Martin women have written books? This could be a great quiz question for International Women’s Day (IWD); and the number of authors might surprise you given the young literary history of this Caribbean island. 

Ruby Bute, first St. Martin woman known to have published a book, Golden Voices of S’maatin (1989)

Ruby Bute, first St. Martin woman known to have published a book, Golden Voices of S’maatin (1989)

To answer the question, a “book table” is being organized for IWD and the corresponding Women’s History Month. The table of “national” titles will be featured at “Hard Hair: St. Martin Women and the Culture of Natural Hair,” a panel discussion on International Women’s Day, Saturday, March 8, at 7:30 PM, at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, said organizer Rochelle Ward.

The table will exhibit books by at least 12 women from the island but there are far more than 12 published St. Martin women writers. Some of the authors are confirmed to be on hand to celebrate IWD with the audience and panelists, said Ward, a leading new generation poet.

The IWD book exhibit, as published examples of the nation’s narratives, “fits in an exciting way with the lifestyle discussion of natural hair stories that will be told by St. Martin women on the panel. The discussion is organized by Don’t Break the Comb natural hair group,” said co-founder Ward, who is also a teacher and blogger.

The books by the nation’s women authors range from autobiographies to self-help titles, poetry volumes to an edition of political speeches, and from a child abandonment study to cook books.

Authors and published writers will be among Saturday’s speakers who are Dr. Nilda Arduin, ombudsman; Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, linguist, educator; Robin Boasman, teacher, author; and attorneys Patricia Chance-Duzant and Ayana Tyrell. There will be a question and answer period for the audience to share their own stories and interact with the panel, moderated by UNESCO representative Marcellia Henry.

“It is fitting for us St. Martin women to tell our own natural hair stories as many women from the Americas, Europe, other parts of the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific are returning to or taking this natural hair pilgrimage toward self-acceptance” and beauty, said Ward, herself a published writer.

The audience members at the IWD program are invited to buy the “book table” books by Ruby Bute, drs. Gracita Arrindell, Felecita Williams, Esther Gumbs, Robin Boasman, Janice James, and others, including women writers in Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. Authors such as Daniella Jeffry, Sheila Williams, Yvette Hyman, Gerda Heil, Lydia Henderson, Dr. Judith Arndell, Dr. Maria van Enckevort, and Ma Chance are among the book writers of St. Martin.

Oh yes, about the actual number of women book writers from St. Martin? “At a last count, there are 25 women authors and co-authors of books and booklets from St. Martin. All of the women authors identified so far have appeared since Ruby Bute published her first book, Golden Voices of S’maatin, in 1989,” said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

“There’s also an additional 21 women that haven’t published their own books as yet but their writings are found in books authored or edited by other writers between 1982 and International Women’s Day 2014,” said Sample.

“Ladies and gentlemen of all ages, come out on Saturday, March 8, and celebrate our hair and fascinating hair stories; our books, and the St. Martin stories in our books. Have a wonderful, inspiring International Women’s Day,” said Ward.

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The panel discussion, “Hard Hair: St. Martin Women and the Culture of Natural Hair,” is sponsored by the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, SOS radio, and Ital Shack.

Offshore Editing Services
Par Offshore Editing Services 7 Mar 2014 09:07

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