The University of the Virgin Islands continues the celebration of its 50th Anniversary with the release of Volume 26 of its international literary gem, The Caribbean Writer, a volume dedicated to nature and overflowing with brilliant writing and art in celebration of the natural environment. Volume 26 boasts of literary content which covers a number of genres, to include poetry, personal essays, short stories, and book reviews and is visually stunning as well with cover art by Amy Laskin from Jamaica, which features a detailed painting of a croton set into a pristine, verdant landscape. It is a landscape which is a Caribbean icon. “We are pleased to continue in the tradition of excellence which both the University and The Caribbean Writer represent with this new volume of the journal,” said UVI President David Hall. “It is this spirit of excellence that has ensured the success and vitality of the journal for so many years.”
This volume of The Caribbean Writer is edited by Tregenza A Roach, a local poet and author who has been widely published in the journal and who has served on the University’s Adjunct Faculty since 1999, teaching courses in writing, the humanities, and public education law. “It was really an honour and privilege to have been chosen to edit this volume,” Roach said, reflecting on the approximate 800 submissions which were reviewed in order to select the pieces for final publication. Roach thanked the Journal’s editorial board whose members participated actively in the paring down process and who contributed greatly to this keepsake publication, and assistant editor Quilin Mars for her dedicated service. The editorial board includes UVI faculty members David Gould and Elaine Warren Jacobs, former faculty member Ruby Simmonds Essanasson, and Edgar O Lake, local poet and novelist. “We are pleased that this volume has drawn such an array of art and literature from across the Caribbean diaspora—from literally every place where Caribbean people and their descendants have lived or settled,” Roach added.
The issue also addresses the area of literary criticism, featuring two special sections: Ecowomanist Gardens in the New World by Debbie-Ann Morrison and So Who Is a Caribbean Writer and Other Questions; a section which draws on the thoughts and opinions of a noteworthy pool of people who offer their special insights. The section is edited by The Caribbean Writer’s founding editor Erika J Waters. Of the special volume dedicated to nature, Roach said, “We received an astounding number of selections, a literal outpouring which will appeal to the various senses, but which also should leave us painfully aware that we are stewards, each and all, charged with protecting and preserving, limiting the destruction which so often is left in our wake.” Many of the journal’s ongoing contributors are from Trinidad and this year is no different as Volume 26, which is dedicated to nature and ecology, includes work by Trinidadian Barbara Jenkins, Summer Edward, June Aming, Aaron Adesh Singh, and Cynthia James. Andre Bagoo also contributes to the book review section while several pieces of Danielle Boodoo-Fortune’s artwork are featured.