Friday, 10 August 2018

Pamela Mordecai : part one

Pamela Mordecai's recent books of poetry are Subversive Sonnets (TSAR, 2012) and de book of Mary: a performance poem (Mawenzi House, 2015). de book of Mary is the second in a trilogy in Jamaican Creole on the life and death of Jesus that she is writing backwards, the last book, de Man: a
performance poem, having  appeared in 1993. She is presently working on de book of Joseph. Pamela writes long and sort fiction as well. Her debut novel, Red Jacket was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize in 2016. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

How did you first engage with poetry?

My father read us a poem every night before we went to sleep – ironically enough, from The Best Loved Poems of the American People.  I'm looking at the book as I type. When he was dying, I read him his favourite poems from the very same book. I also fell in love with the patwa poetry of the Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley when I was a child. I learned the poems by heart and would recite them as I roamed the house...Finally I took to Shakespeare early. I played Cobweb in Midsummer Night's Dream in a school [lay when I was quite young. So, Louise, Shakespeare and my pops.

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