Today (May 11, 2010) is Kamau Brathwaite’s 80th birthday. In celebration of his birthday, Queen’s Park Gallery is dedicating an art exhibition featuring some of Barbados’ leading artists. The exhibition will include works that reflect an understanding of Brathwaite’s themes and approaches to writing. While not illustrating the writer’s poems, they “capture the spirit of his life and work.” There will also be a performance by actor, writer, and educator Yvonne Weekes at the opening. The exhibition, curated by Janice Whittle, opens at the Queen’s Park Gallery in Bridegtown, Barbados, on May 16 at 6:30pm and continues until June 26.
Kamau Brathwaite, born in Barbados in 1930, is an internationally celebrated historian, poet, performer, and cultural theorist. He is is one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary canon. Co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement, he was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and holds a PhD from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He has served on the board of directors of UNESCO’s History of Mankind project since 1979, and as cultural advisor to the government of Barbados from 1975-1979 and again since 1990. Brathwaite has received numerous awards, among them the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bussa Award, the Casa de las Américas Prize, the Charity Randall Prize for Performance and Written Poetry,and the Griffin Poetry Prize. A prolific writer and foremost Caribbean thinker, Brathwaite has authored many works, including Contradictory Omens: Cultural Diversity and Integration in the Caribbean (1974), Mother Poem (1977), Gods of the Middle Passage (1982),The Zea Mexican Diary (1992; chosen as The Village Voice Book of the Year), Middle Passages (1994), Barabajan Poems (1994), Ancestors (2001), The Development of Creole Society, 1770-1820 (2005), and Born to Slow Horses (2005).
Brtahwaite has taught at the University of the West Indies, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nairobi, Boston University, Holy Cross College, Yale University, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. He is currently a professor of comparative literature at New York University. He divides his time between Cowpastor, Barbados and New York City.
For full report, see http://bajanreporter.com/?p=11405
Biography of Kamau Brathwaite from http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com/shortlist_2006.php?t=4