Sandra Abd’Allah (of the “Negra cubana tenia que ser” blog) writes about the upcoming exhibition by the participation of Cuban artist Angel Alonso, who will present his work at the Latin American art exhibition “Masters of the Imagination: The Latin American Fine Art Exhibition,” to be held from September 16 to October 6, 2014, at Agora Gallery, located at 530 West 25th Street in New York.

Description: The works in “Masters of the Imagination: The Latin American Fine Art Exhibition” brim with life and passion. Whether the message is serious or whimsical, its sincerity cannot be doubted. These talented artists bring their own brand of craftsmanship from Latin America to New York to engage viewers and leave them wanting more.

Angel Alonso’s acrylic paintings speak in languages both iconographic and purely visual. The artist centers each work around his own stylized version of the human figure, a transparent, fluid outline that calls to mind a more expressive Keith Haring cartoon. In Alonso’s hands the figure is allowed to float, multiply, or grow wings; it is also deceptively subtle in its movements and the emotions it portrays. The figures fight against amorphous, symbol-laden environments. One struggles to hold a ceiling up. Another is adrift among a sea of meaningless, soulless numbers. With surreal colors and an indefinable treatment of space, the paintings seem to exist in a theoretical place rather than the real world. In this way, Alonso says his work showcases “the artificiality of the Western mind,” with its uniformity, insistence on competition, and dependence on technology. Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba and lived in Sweden for several years before returning to his hometown, an experience which impacted his art, making it universally relevant.

Sandra Abd’Allah writes: For Angel Alonso, is significant opportunity to be at the exhibition: “This is an elegant gallery, glamorous, very connected to collectors everywhere (…). They do everything with much preparation time, is a highly organized long process, resulting in an opening full of people really connected with the art world, “he told OnCuba. Alonso’s work has been exhibited in countries like Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and the United States. Earlier, in the 90s, the Center for Cuban Studies presented his work along many Cuban artists in the Metropolitan New York Book Center.

[. . .] Agora Gallery is an art gallery founded in 1984 that is dedicated to promoting American and international artists that foster social awareness and promote the use of art to help those in need. The institution also publishes the ARTisSpectrum magazine and sponsors

For more information, see

Also see


The University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras; the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados; the Virgin Islands and Caribbean Cultural Center at the University of the Virgin Islands; and Universidad de Costa Rica are co-sponsoring this year’s 17th Annual Eastern Caribbean Islands Cultures (‘Islands in Between’) Conference on the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures of the Eastern Caribbean. The conference will take place on November 6-8, 2014 at the University of Costa Rica, Regional Caribbean Branch, Port Limón City, Costa Rica. The new deadline for proposals is September 15, 2014. [See previous post Call for Papers: 17th Annual Eastern Caribbean Islands Cultures Conference (‘Islands in Between’).]

The guest speaker will be author and human rights activist Quince Duncan, considered to be Costa Rica’s first Afro-Caribbean writer in the Spanish language.

Description/Guidelines: Suggested topics for presentation include: Language, Literature, Culture, History, and Education in Limón; Eastern Caribbean Drama, Poetry, Fiction, Cinema, Essays, Biographies, etc.; Language and Culture, Identity, and/or Gender in the Eastern Caribbean; Creole Linguistics and the Creolization of Languages and Cultures in the Eastern Caribbean; Art, Music, Dance, Cuisine, and Popular Culture of the Eastern Caribbean; Eastern Caribbean Carnival, Religions, Other Performance Traditions; The Environment, Tourism, and Development in the Eastern Caribbean; and Culture and Politics, Society, History, Law, and Economics in the Eastern Caribbean.

Papers may be in English, Spanish, or any other Caribbean language, and should conform to the allotted fifteen minutes of presentation time and five minutes of question time. Please submit your proposal within the text of an e-mail and NOT as an attachment. Proposals should include: a one-page abstract (maximum 250 words), the author’s name, postal and e-mail addresses, home institution (if applicable), and a brief biography (50 words or less).

Please send submissions or enquiries to the Puerto Rico Conference Organizing Committee (Dannabang Kuwabong, Nicholas Faraclas, and Yolanda Rivera) to

Information regarding the conference will be available on the Islands-In-Between web page; see


The Caribbean Studies Association’s president Jan DeCosmo has just announced that the CSA’s 40th annual conference will be held in New Orleans, on May 25-29, 2015, at the Hilton Hotel (New Orleans Riverside), located at 2 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana ( The theme for this forthcoming conference will be “The Caribbean in an Age of Global Apartheid Fences, Boundaries, and Borders—Literal and Imagined.”

Description: Fittingly set in what is called the “northernmost Caribbean city,” this milestone conference will feature five days of presentations based on the theme:   “The Caribbean in an Age of Global Apartheid:  Fences, Boundaries, and Borders—Literal and Imagined.”

Plenary and round-table discussions will address the question of an autochthonous Caribbean by connecting the unique Creole cultures of New Orleans and Southwest Louisiana with Africa and the Caribbean, especially the Francophone Caribbean (the Antilles and Haiti) and Cuba.

The distinctive Creole cultures of New Orleans and Southwest Louisiana are unique because of Louisiana’s colonial history under three different masters:  Spanish, French and Anglo-American.  Its subsequent three-tiered racial, class and culture structure, is found nowhere else in America.

[. . .] Scholars and students from a variety of academic disciplines (arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences) and related professions are welcome to submit panel and paper proposals.

A call for papers is forthcoming at


Dr. Héctor R. Marín Román’s ¡A la vuelta de la esquina! El Caribe camino a la Segunda Guerra Mundial, 1938-1941 [Just around the Corner!: The Caribbean En Route to World War II, 1938-1941] was published by Editorial Gaviota in June 2014.

Description (La Tertulia): Military historian Dr. Héctor R. Román Marín uses primary military sources that originally classified as “secret” (now declassified) among others, and he integrates secondary sources related to the military presence of the United States at the international level.

Héctor R. Román Marín is a professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. Specializing in military history of the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, he is also author of ¡Llegó la Gringada!. El Contexto Social-Militar Estadounidense en Puerto Rico y otros lugares del Caribe hasta 1919 and El caldero quema’o: El contexto social-militar de los estadounidenses en Puerto Rico y otros lugares del Caribe durante el período entre-guerras, 1919-1938, among other publications.

For more information, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | August 31, 2014

Cuban migrant boat turned away from Caymans despite rough seas

A home-made aluminium boat carrying 16 Cuban migrants pulls up to a dock in Grand Cayman island

Peter Polack and David Adams (for Reuters) report that a Cuban migrant boat was recently turned away from the Cayman Islands despite the fact that they were seeking refuge from rough seas. Here are excerpts. See link for full story:

A small, homemade aluminum boat carrying 16 Cuban migrants sought refuge from rough seas in Grand Cayman on Thursday but local officials prevented a landing, citing a migration agreement with Cuba.

Local law enforcement would not allow the migrants to receive drinking water, food or supplies from well-wishers onshore. The 20-foot boat, a patchwork of fiberglass and metal with large inner tubes attached to makeshift outriggers, was allowed to anchor offshore while their fate is determined.

Under the 1999 migration accord Cuban boats are allowed to pass through Cayman waters as long as they do not seek any assistance. If the migrants come ashore, they are taken into custody and usually repatriated to Cuba.

Boats smuggling Cubans seeking to flee the communist-run island are frequently seen off the Cayman Islands, located in the Caribbean less than 100 miles (160 km) south of Cuba. They are usually headed for Honduras, about 400 miles away, from where migrants make the long journey overland to reach the U.S. border with Mexico. Under the U.S. so-called “wet foot, dry foot policy,” Cuban migrants who make it onto United States soil are allowed to remain while those intercepted at sea are turned back.

[. . .] The captain said the passengers, 11 men and five women aged 18 to 40, were from Manzanillo in eastern Cuba. He said the boat had been at sea for five days since leaving eastern Cuba, surviving rough seas whipped up by the passage of hurricane Cristobal to the east. The boat had no shade from the blazing summer heat and the group appeared to have run out of water.

[. . .] Estimates are that 200 to 300 Cuban migrants have passed through the Cayman Islands so far this year and stopped for various reasons including bad weather, engine problems or lack of water. Angelo estimated only one in 10 boats make it to Honduras.

Local islanders calculate that at least double that number pass near Cayman Islands without stopping, and others are intercepted by the Cuban government vessels and the United States Coast Guard.

The U.S. Border Patrol said in late July that more than 13,500 Cubans without the proper papers had tried to cross the southwestern U.S. border since Oct. 1, 2013, more than during all of the previous 12 months. Four years ago, the 12-month total was about 5,500.

For full article, see

Posted by: lisaparavisini | August 31, 2014

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love TOUR



Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love:

From Medieval Poetry to 21st Century Feminist Anthems

Bi-coastal U.S. Tour Featuring Concerts, Workshops and Artist Presentations:

September 22 – October 4

The over 500 year-old Ibero-Afro-American poetic and musical traditions that nourish Puerto Rican jíbaro music, the Dominican Republic’s bachata, and Latin American boleros take an innovative, feminist twist at the hands of Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, author and scholar, Raquel Z. Rivera and her band Ojos de Sofía. During a two-week bi-coastal U.S. tour titled Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love, the group will present Raquel’s original compositions, written in the time-honored décima poetic format and arranged by Puerto Rican guitarist/cuatrista Bryan Vargas and Dominican guitarist Yasser Tejeda. The band will also play classic Latin American boleros featuring the extraordinarily soulful voice of Anabellie Rivera while also offering workshops and artist talks focused on the history, contemporary relevance and future potential of décima-related poetry and music. The tour will cover various nightspots, colleges and community centers in New York City, Southern California, Boston, and Maine.

The tour’s first New York City musical performance will take place on Friday September 26, 9:00 pm at noted live music venue Terraza 7, in Elmhurst, Queens. The second will be on Saturday October 4, 8:00 pm at one of New York City’s premier world music venues, Barbès, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Southern California leg of the tour will take place between September 22 – 23 and it is a collaboration between Pomona College, SCRIPPS College and other local organizations. The group will later travel to Boston for performances, talks and workshops at Northeastern University, Tufts University and Make Shift Boston. In Brunswick, Maine, they will offer an afternoon workshop and a nighttime concert at Bowdoin College.

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love debuted last winter before an enthusiastic crowd at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery iconic performance space in New York City’s East Village. The upcoming performances are only the second time that the band presents these original and classic songs of love that celebrate tradition while also subverting it. Through creative arrangements and quirky lyrics Ojos de Sofía playfully acknowledge as they challenge folkloric and popular music’s often sexist and clichéd approaches to love and loss. Raquel Z. Rivera’s lyrics are written from a humorous feminist perspective that promotes feminine solidarity while refusing to resort to the rote battle of the sexes approach. Meanwhile, Anabellie Rivera gives new meanings to classic boleros while drawing from a well of inspiration and feeling that seems to be several lifetimes deep. A song series developed in part with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York Cultural Innovation Fund and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love is an exploration of the contemporary relevance and potential of décimas—a tradition dating back to medieval times in the Iberian Peninsula and structured around stanzas of ten octosyllabic lines which rhyme ABBAACCDDC. The song series also celebrates the connections between Puerto Rican jíbaro music (renowned for its use of décimas), Dominican bachata and palos (which also draw from décimas), and Latin American boleros, since these are all deeply interconnected genres whose historical overlaps have become obscured by the widely different fate each has had within the music industry.

Las Décimas del Amargue & Other Songs of Love represent another cutting-edge balancing act between tradition and innovation by Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía as an independent band that has managed to get featured in NPR’s Alt.Latino, Europe’s World Music Charts Top 20, Radio France International, the NY Daily News, and Latin Beat Magazine, while receiving accolades by folklorists at the Journal of New York Folklore and Claridad, among other venues.

Raquel is generally available for interviews by phone or in person (solo or with Ojos de Sofía).


Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía, “Mi Condena” (Live)

Audio (Streaming and Download):

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofia “Nuestra Señora de Lexington”

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía, featuring Anabellie Rivera, “Madrigal”

Digital Press Kit:

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía Press Kit

Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofía

Tour de Las Décimas del Amargue

September 22 | Time TBD

Artist talk and décimas writing workshop

Pomona College

333 N College Way, Claremont, CA


September 23 | 7:00 pm


1030 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711


September 25 | 7:00 pm

Rutgers University

Gathering Lounge, Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854


Friday, September 26 | 9:00 pm

Terraza 7

40-19 Gleane St, Elmhurst, Queens, NY


Monday, September 29 | 1:30 pm

Artist talk and musical demonstration

Northeastern University

342 Huntington Ave, Blackman Auditorium, Boston, MA 02115


Monday, September 29 | 8:00 pm

Makeshift Boston

549 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Suggested donation $10

Tuesday, September 30 | 12 noon

Artist talk and musical demonstration

Tufts University
419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155‎


Wednesday, October 1st | Times TBD

Bowdoin College
3725 College St, Brunswick, ME 04011


Saturday, October 4 | 8:00 pm


376 9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Suggested donation $10

For the most up-to-date venue, time, and other details of these concerts and presentations, please contact 646.266.7182 or

For further general information please contact Tom Frouge @ Avokado Artists (505.771.3166 / or Raquel Z. Rivera (646.266.7182 /


Most third-round losers in the U.S. Open are footnotes. Victor Estrella Burgos — as some might have guessed by translating his surname, Estrella, into English — is a star, John Jeansonne reports for Newsday.
Not an overnight success, at 34. But Estrella’s appearance in this year’s tournament made him the first player from the Dominican Republic ever to play in the Open. His match against fifth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada Saturday was Estrella’s first, in his 12-year professional career, against a top 10 player.
Estrella lost a tight, entertaining match after pushing Raonic to a tiebreak in all three sets — 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). But his presence brought hundreds of Dominican fans to watch a sport almost nobody plays in Estrella’s land.
And his unlikely progress through two rounds, as the world’s 80th-ranked player, threw a bright light on his unique personal story.
Hired as a ball boy at a Santiago country club when he was 8, Estrella taught himself tennis. He was 18 years old before he ever heard of the U.S. Open, and labored for all these years in the tennis minor leagues. For years, his ranking wasn’t much higher than 1,500.
But, after an elbow injury almost ended his career in 2012, Estrella began his climb toward finally playing on the big stage. Last year, he lost to American Donald Young in the final round of the Open’s qualifying tournament.
This year, at last ranked in the top 100, he earned a berth in the French Open’s main draw, where he lost to then-No. 23 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in the first round. He then was beaten in Wimbledon’s first round by then-No. 68 Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.
Here at Flushing Meadows, he knocked off Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands, ranked 72nd, then beat Croatia’s Borna Coric, a 17-year-old with big possibilities, while Dominican fans cheered. And more.
“I have, like, a thousand coaches,” Estrella said, “because all of them, they are coaching me.”
Saturday, Estrella showed no fear in dueling Raonic, nine inches taller than the 5-8 Estrella and with a serve 15 mph faster than Estrella’s high of 126. The Grandstand court crowd howled in appreciation of the duel from all 6,106 seats, from the walkway between the Grandstand and Armstrong Stadium, even looking over from the top row of Armstrong. Many called out Estrella’s nickname, “Viti.”
“Really amazing,” Estrella said. “Sometime I see out of the court a lot of faces that I know, because I know a lot of people from Dominican. It was an amazing feeling.
“For me, the best week. I lost today, but today was my best match. I played very good level. The three sets was very close. I’m not too sad, because I have had a very good week.”
Only two players were older than him in the 128-player men’s singles draw, but he talked like a fellow just setting out on his career path. He will spend his $105,000 winnings here to “invest in my career,” he said.
“And I have to pay taxes.”
For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | August 31, 2014

Encounters: 1st Biennial Conference of IABA- Americas Chapter


Encounters Across the Americas: Archives, Technologies, Methods
June 4-7, 2015
Institute for the Humanities
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


The International Auto/Biography Association ( was founded in 1999 as a multidisciplinary network of scholars working on all aspects of life writing. Three regional chapters have been established since then: IABA-Europe, IABA-The Americas, and IABA-Pacific Rim. The Americas Chapter of IABA, launched in San Juan, Puerto Rico in July 2013, has the following aims:

  • Fostering the participation of auto/biography scholars across the Americas;
  • Soliciting participation from scholars internationally whose work focuses on auto/biography in the Americas;
  • Identifying research networks and encouraging partnerships among scholars in the Americas; and
  • Supporting graduate students of the Americas working in life writing.The biennial conferences, as well as the contacts and collaborations generated through the IABA-A website (, facilitate these goals.

Across the Americas auto/biographical acts and practices create encounters–with ourselves and our past, with others, with storytelling genres, with language and culture, with economic and political conditions, with historical legacies, with possible futures. The media and arenas of auto/biographical encounters are multiple and heterogeneous: testimony and autoethnography, graphic memoir and ecocriticism, digital media and performance art, popular lyrics and material objects, political forums and family gatherings. We invite proposals for papers and panels that explore auto/biographical encounters of all kinds, particularly encounters with archives, technologies, and scholarly methods for interpreting auto/biographical acts and practices.

Archival Encounters 
Archives document encounters in stories of conquest, invasion, genocide, transportation, enslavement, cultural loss and survival, national expansion and global repositioning, local indigeneity and diaspora. They attest to acts of migration, mobility, conversion, transformation, or re-embodiment. Archives can be large or small, long-lived or ephemeral, drawn from Big Data or fragments. They may include letters, diaries, identity papers, inventories, logbooks, lyrics, or objects in many media: textual, visual, graphic, haptic, oral, aural, material. They encompass myths, memories, personal aspirations, and evidence of public spectacles. While archives can be, and have been, lost, silenced, overwritten, they can also be digitized and exposed as sources of stories to sustain individuals and communities–or disrupt and separate them.

How do life writers across the Americas encounter and use archives? What modes of evidence are discoverable in and through them? What kinds of life stories, acts of translation, and encounters do archives call forth? How are digital technologies enabling scholars of life writing to build archives? What issues of curation, preservation, assemblage, and circulation do archives present?

Technological Encounters 
Technologies may be conceptual, as in Foucault’s sense, or material, analog or digitally enabled. Encounters with technologies enable the recovery of histories of colonial violence, the circulation of postcolonial legacies, and the evocation of posthuman agencies. Technologies are employed in reorganizing ethnic identities and indigenous politics. Via cultural collisions, across contact zones, they produce multi-temporal histories that express the legacies of transport in both new and long-lived forms of witnessing. They point up intersections of geographic and sexual imaginaries embodied in disparate modes, from queer performance art to computer games about gender transition, and register the impact of environmental degradation in the Americas through ecocritical writing.

What is an auto/biographical technology? How have technologies enabled the telling of lives within and across the Western hemisphere, and to what effect? What histories of technology do auto/biographers draw on in constructing their stories? How do technologies facilitate the creation, or collection, or circulation of life narratives?

Encounters with, and as, Method 
Our acts of critical practice are encounters as well. In the medium of storytelling personal stories trace a history, generate a legacy, revision the possible shapes of embodied experience. But the heterogeneous aesthetics and politics of personal storytelling make the methodology of reading life narratives necessarily a choice among possibilities.  What methods of analysis do scholars of auto/biography now rely on?  How is a particular method related to past theorizing of the autobiographical or a larger theory of language, culture, subjectivity, sociality, or politics?

That is, papers might foreground method, asking, for example: What is entailed in performing a deep reading of an individual life story? What reading practices are marshaled in understanding a prosopography as a collective story? What issues arise in assembling an oral history of one or more marginalized subjects? When the focus is the subject, the self, the person, the community, the nation, or the corporation, what kinds of evidence or data are used in the analysis? Are there methodologies that point up networks of life writing practice specific to the Americas, with their long history of both heterogeneous reception and occasional congruence? If some theoretical approaches seem exhausted, what new approach to familiar or emergent forms of life narrative might be productive?

Papers and panels should address aspects of the genres, histories, and politics of life writing that circulate from the Arctic to the Antarctic, the Atlantic to the Pacific, and along the routes of life writing across the Western Hemisphere to distant worlds. Ideally they will pose theoretical and methodological questions of interest in and beyond the humanities. Accessible and provocative papers and panels proposing new terms or employing concepts from other disciplines are eagerly sought to expand claims about life writing for wider publics and conversations.

Specifics of Proposals for Papers, Panels, and Lightning Rounds

  • The length of papers will be restricted to eighteen minutes to enable sufficient time for questions and discussion.
  • Proposals for panels that focus on a single issue or question, with three speakers and abstracts for all panelists, are welcome.
  • “Lightning rounds” on specific one-word concepts or topics, with six participants, may also be proposed; each presentation should not exceed five-seven minutes.
  • When submitting your proposal, please state any media requirements–DVD player, internet connection from your computer, visual projection, audio enhancement, etc.

Because our scholarly association seeks to reflect our multilingual heritage yet communicate collegially across languages and cultures, proposals for papers and panels in Spanish, Portuguese, and French are welcome, although most papers will be presented in English.  If a panel and/or individual paper is delivered in a language other than English, a written English translation needs to be provided by the author two months ahead of the conference for copying and distribution to the audience. In exceptional cases, arrangements can be made for simultaneous translation during question and answer.

Your paper and/or panel title and a proposal abstract of not more than 300 words per paper should be submitted by November 1, 2014, along with a brief biographical statement (100 words) listing name and email address, affiliation and position, major publications, focus of interest in life narrative, language of presentation, and technical requirements. It may be written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French. Regretfully, late submissions cannot be considered.

Please send submissions to Shortly after submission you will receive an auto-generated notice that your proposal was received.

Proposers of papers and panels will be notified regarding acceptance by January 15, 2015. The conference website will, by that time, have information on options for and cost of lodging and registration fee, as well as small grants in aid for travel from other countries. Please note that a passport will be required for visitors from all other nations entering the United States, and a visa for most Latin American citizens.

NOTE: The tradition of IABA is that conference attendees attend and participate for the full four days of the meeting. Please plan to make this commitment.

Co-Convenors:Sidonie Smith (
Director, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan
Julia Watson (
Professor Emerita, The Ohio State University

Ann Arbor is an exciting site of encounter. Near Detroit, Ann Arbor combines the congeniality of a Midwestern small town with the cosmopolitan energy of a great university city.  Participants will be able to reach all conference venues on foot from university residence halls and local hotels, and will enjoy a wide range of dining, entertainment, and recreational possibilities. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a major hub for flights to and within the U.S., is conveniently located 30 minutes from campus, and easy ground transportation is available.


Exhibition continues through Sept 13, 2014

Please join the for the following events:

Saturday, Sept. 6, 12:30pm – Papercasting Demonstration with Robert Craddock, Lan Ding Liu and Rejin Leys

Saturday, Septemebr 13, 1pm – “Table of Reclaimed Contents” Closure Event with Lan Ding Liu and Robert Craddock

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)
161-04 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica NY, 11432

Art is all around us, from architectural details to the pattern on the hem of a shirt. The exhibition Local Color takes a close look a detail, meaning, metaphor and materials used by 12 artists with ties to Queens. JCAL’s William P. Miller Jr. Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 6, with additional hours (until 9pm) from Tuesday through Thursday.

Ludger K. Balan, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Robert Craddock, Lan Ding Liu, Laura Fayer, Janet Henry, Joseph A. Isahack, Rejin Leys, Carla Lobmier, Dominique Sindayiganza, Shenna Vaughn, Mary Burton Wheeler

 Check Out

“A tour of ‘LOCAL COLOR’ with Rejin Leys & Carla Lobmier”

on the Qnsmade blog for more info about the exhibition, and


to see photos from the opening reception and learn more about the artists.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | August 31, 2014

House of Ashes review – Monique Roffey’s Caribbean coup d’etat

house ashes review

A violent episode in Trinidad’s recent history is the starting point for Roffey’s visceral tale of three people caught in the carnage, Lucy Scholes writes in this review for London’s Guardian.

Trinidad-born Monique Roffey draws on a bloody chapter in the country’s recent history for her new novel, House of Ashes – the attempted coup d’etat of 1990. Set in the City of Silk, the capital of her fictional Caribbean island of Sans Amen, Roffey’s novel tells the story of a similarly bungled takeover through the eyes of three people involved: Ashes, a reticent gunman; Aspasia Garland, the country’s environment minister who’s held hostage; and a disaffected street kid turned child soldier.

Told by their charismatic leader that they will be “making history”, the reality that awaits the men who storm the city’s House of Power in the name of reclaiming what is rightfully theirs from corrupt politicians is one of bloody, desperate carnage. Their lives entangled together in the barbed wire of history, Roffey’s three protagonists are forced to re-evaluate their beliefs as each of them learns to shoulder the responsibility for their actions. Roffey’s writing is raw and visceral and she thrusts her readers headlong into the very middle of the action, her pen as powerful as the butts of the guns shoved in her hostages’ backs.

For the original report go to

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