Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach, Ontario!

Palaver International Literary Festival_Wasaga Beach_Ontario_Canada

Founded by writer and journalist Michael S. L. Jarrett – and now in its second year – Palaver International Literary Festival brings Caribbean literature, music and good food to Wasaga Beach, Ontario. An “open mic.” stage for poetry and song, as well as Ol’ Time Stories told throughout the day. This evening (Saturday the 6th) there is the Palaver Awards Dinner (“A Birthday Toast to Jamaica”) featuring The Heritage Singers and Orville Hammond, jazz pianist. On Sunday the 7th: “open mic.” for poetry and song again; “Feast on the Beach”: brunch with master-chef Selwyn Richards; the Palaver Writers’ Workshop with Horane Smith; and poets and novelists will meet and greet with festival attendees –– and sign books :-) Writers in attendance at Palaver 2016 include: Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, Dwayne Morgan, Owen Everard James, Cynthia Reyes, and Lorna Goodison.

Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach_Ontario_Canada_Image from 2015

Delores Gauntlett (born 1949, St. Ann, Jamaica)

Introduction to Poetry

(for Mervyn Morris)


I wish you’d write some foolishness sometimes,”

you said in that workshop off South Camp Road,

and it took some years to uncover what you meant:

To bring out what I’d seen, or wished I’d seen,

in a simple line

and state outright that this is it;

to find my way out of the cul-de-sac,

when trying too hard, wide of the mark,

the words coming but not the sense;

to balance each line and not feel the weight;

to watch day break across a familiar land,

freeing the verse as on a passing wind;

to walk all night under a changing moon.

To convert the outrage into song, the poem coming,

not as from the space between

a sleepwalker’s outstretched arms,

but as in a hand held still against rushing water,

then lifted clear, the drops from the dripping

fingertips settling in the poem’s room.

. . . . .