Meet PREE’s 5 young scholarship winners!

Part of PREE’s proposal to the Prince Claus Fund was that we would use their Next Generation grant to fund five talented writers under the age of 30 to attend PREE Writing Studio (PWS) and Calabash Literary Festival immediately afterwards, all costs covered. All five had to have contributed to issues four or five of PREE and clicking on their names will allow you to read their work. 

The response to PWS has been stupendous. Whereas we had hoped for 25-30 applications we received 45-50. This will allow us to partially fund a few more deserving participants who can’t afford the full fee. Keep checking in for more news on PREE’s exciting, one-of-a-kind writing festival!

Jovanté Anderson is a first-year student at the University of Miami, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature. His current research areas include gender and sexuality studies, theories of space and place, and diaspora studies. He is also the first recipient of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica and Helen Zell: Young Writer’s Prize for Poetry. He is originally from Harbour View, St Andrew. As a young poet and scholar, he is always trying to learn more about his craft and how he can use it to impact the world, or at least, make a mockery of it. He spends his everyday navigating always-interesting, mostly-amusing American spaces that do not always feel like home, but always feels like adventure.

Yashika Graham is a writer, visual artist and the 2019 recipient of the Mervyn Morris Prize for poetry from the University of the West Indies, Mona where she is a student of Literatures in English. The recipient of a 2018 Centrum Writers’ Residency and the 2019 Urban Wilderness Project Research and Teaching Fellowship, Graham’s work is published in The Caribbean Writer, POUI, Spillway magazine, Cordite Review, PREE, Moko magazine and Jamaica Journal. She teaches creative writing and has taught cross-genre workshops for the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference in Washington, USA.

Adam Patterson is a visual artist and writer based between Barbados, London & Rotterdam. They like telling new stories or rethinking old stories in new recuperative ways. Working across a variety of media including masquerade, video, critical writing, poetry and performance. Patterson’s works have been exhibited at the Live Art Development Agency and Jerwood Space, London; the Barbados Museum & Historical Society and Fresh Milk Arts Platform, Barbados; Roodkapje, Rotterdam; Ateliers ’89, Aruba and Alice Yard, Trinidad & Tobago. Their writing has been featured by Fresh Milk Arts Platform, ARC Magazine, Sugarcane Magazine, PREE, Mister Motley and Metropolis M. 

Kaleb D’Aguilar is a writer and filmmaker, currently completing his MA in Filmmaking, specialising in Directing, at Goldsmiths University in London. His interest in the arts started on stage as an actor, but after completing his BSc. in Anthropology at the University of the West Indies, where he graduated Valedictorian in 2017, Kaleb transitioned to writing and directing for film. He has currently completed three short films, all of which have participated in regional and international film festivals. His interest in ‘world building’ and ‘storytelling’ transcends the cinematic medium to literary text, most prominently poetry. He is also a recipient of the 2019 Poet Laureate of Jamaica and Michael Cooke Prize for Poetry. 

Tanicia Pratt is a content writer, poet, and performance artist from The Bahamas. Her writing is a form of memory, archived or unearthed, to depict the many selves of the Caribbean landscape. Pratt’s work has been published by the grace of Palette Poetry, PREE, POUI, Write About Now, Tamarind Journal, among othersShe has performed at Antiquities, Monuments & Museums, the Central Bank of the Bahamas Art Gallery, and the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Pratt received her BA in Marketing from The University of the Bahamas and is studying her MA in Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

Because Tanicia’s work will be appearing in Issue 5 of PREE, Ecocide, we’re unable to link to it but keep your eyes peeled for the new issue mid-April.

We will always run out of time if we keep trying to be what the world around us tells us who we should be

Marinna Shareef 

 I’m the type of person who would like to be the best they can be for everyone. The best friend, the best helper, the best person. I’m a perfectionist. I realised a while back that I was tired of spreading myself thin and giving pieces of myself to others that I couldn’t even give myself. From then on I’ve had to deal with not being the ‘best’ anymore, and being a selfish person sometimes. I’ve had to give myself the attention that I was giving everyone else before, and it’s left me in a state where I hardly go out or socialize. However, it’s been benefiting me in so many ways and I’m so glad that I began to do this. This was one of the bigger steps that I had to take in my mental health journey, and I’m lucky to say that my close friends understand this and give me space when needed.

Trinidadian multi-media artist Marinna Shareef has completed her Fine Arts degree at the University of the West Indies and has exhibited in the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago in the ‘UWI Degree Show,’  and in the “Emerging Artists” exhibition during Carifesta in 2019.

Crossroads Issue 1: Letter from the Editor

ANNIE PAUL

annieAs the note on our theme says, the Caribbean has always existed at a crossroads of one kind or another, and nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century, the Caribbean remains at a crossroads. The artist Christopher Cozier once said, after a residency in Johannesburg, that he often felt like someone standing at an intersection with a sign, rewriting and reorganizing its message, wondering if it was being understood or engaged.

There’s a similar feeling as we put out the first issue of PREE, an online portal to relay high-grade writing from, on or about the Caribbean. Will PREE be read as widely as we hope? Who will PREE’s audience be and how will they engage us? Will this kind of writing appeal to the younger generations growing up in an era when books have virtually become an endangered species? Will youngsters still yearn to be writers in the same way that some of us born in the 20th century did? Will the rest of the world be interested in what Caribbean writers have to say?

Continue reading “Crossroads Issue 1: Letter from the Editor”

Letter From the Publisher

SHARMAINE LOVEGROVE
Sharmaine

The world is in a state of flux. As I write this, the Motherland that colonised many Caribbean islands and made them a focus of slavery is being held accountable for its disgraceful treatment of the Windrush Generation: people from all over the West Indies who came to Britain to help rebuild it after the war in exchange and hope for different life.

That the stories of the Caribbean have been ignored for so long is one of the greatest tragedies of modern literature. Our islands are rich with cultural heritage, a cacophony of vernaculars, and offer a lens on the world from totally unique vistas.

We cannot help but go forwards in life, yet it is vital to reflect on what came before. All four of my grandparents were born in Jamaica and it’s important for me to give back and be part of something meaningful, expressive and tangible to those who are writing the Caribbean from all perspectives.

PREE brings all those elements together and we hope this space will become a home for publishers and agents to take a dip and spend time discovering voices that are new to them or hearing from someone familiar in a different space.

I have spent my life reading Sam Selvon, Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jean Rhys and Audre Lorde, learning about the world from their perspective and understanding my roots and culture through their words. More recently it’s been a joy to celebrate the works of award-winning writers Marlon James, Monique Roffey, Kei Miller and Nicole Dennis-Benn and discover the likes of Vladimir Lucien, Diana McCaulay and Edwidge Danticat. As a publisher in London, England I am proud to publish Patrick Chamoiseau in English as his strong, complex characters from Martinique have stayed with me for a long time. Our aim is to bring writers like these into your life and to show off the Caribbean and its literary might.

PREE is a celebration of what brings the Caribbean together through words and I hope you enjoy discovering another area of our cultural talent.

Sharmaine Lovegrove
Publisher, PREE

The Counting-Up

INGRID PERSAUD

1. I was clearing out the wardrobe while my sister lounged on the bed drinking the last of my fresh grapefruit juice. She said being her only brother is not enough. She doesn’t clean her own house and she’s damn well not cleaning mine. Clothes, shoes, boxes all came tumbling out. Shoved right to the back was Mark’s old album.

‘Vijay, she picture in there?’

I flopped down next to her and flipped through the pages until we found what I knew was there. The first time I saw Sophie’s photo – smiling, in front an open window – Mark said that’s a college friend.

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Everybody Live Uptown Now

ROLAND WATSON-GRANT

Papa is on the lanai, drinkin’ in front of Caleb again. The man wouldn’t even touch a Red Stripe when we were growin’ up, so I don’t know why he would take up this habit in his old age. Then again, ever since that night – years ago – everybody change, including me. Caleb is only six, but I swear that little boy is going to be a journalist one day. He’s outside interviewing his Grandpa.

Continue reading “Everybody Live Uptown Now”

Carousel

LEONE ROSS

He goes back home to lose his virginity: to the kind of sea town that is always disappointing on arrival, whether you come by train into the city centre, or by shuddering boat, dropping anchor under the gaze of sky-wheeling, grumpy seagulls. Whichever way, it’s always shades of brown and stained white walls, always a series of shops too graffitied, kicked and vomited-on to be special, and the smell of good fish in the air.

He was reminded, as everyone is, returning to a place like this, how unutterably small it was. It would be smaller each time he came back. Perhaps he wouldn’t return after this, so he could permanently avoid the feeling of being bigger than every building around him and every person here; avoid the suspicion that he smelled so much better, now.

But there was the matter of this virginity.

Continue reading “Carousel”