St. Vincent: SFI Books and First Reads

The Caribbean Book Blog reports that Strategy Forum Inc (SFI) provides business consultancy services that aim to teach techniques that stimulate innovative thinking and to help devise creative strategies for the holistic growth of businesses and projects. An interesting example of their projects is a proposal for an environmental and conservation initiative initiated by the National Trust of St Vincent for Canouan, Mayreau, and Union Island, three islands in the Grenadines.

Two other fascinating projects launched directly by SFI are SFI Books, a new publishing imprint based in the Eastern Caribbean island of St Vincent, and First Reads, a new, monthly literary journal. Both have opened a door of opportunity to writers from the region.

Inga Rhonda King, an expert in accounting and financial management, is the founder and managing director of Strategy Forum Inc. Born in Curacao, Netherland Antilles, she grew up in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and has lived and worked in several Caribbean islands, the USA and China.

The launch of SFI Books “represents the opening of a new chapter in Rhonda King’s mission to create a space where ‘independent thinkers, trained and untrained, could gather and learn from each other’– a ‘village without walls’ that allows people anywhere in the world to be part of an enterprise where, together, they can ‘create an environment to facilitate the re-imagining of their world.’” King explains, “Our first aim is to provide a platform for new voices (not-so-new are also welcome) and to celebrate and promote the Caribbean sense of life, even as we try to understand it. We see no better way of doing so than through storytelling.” 

The imprint’s inaugural publication, entitled Caribbean Sense of Life is a photographic narrative compiled by King that captures the Caribbean’s rich geographical and cultural diversity and shows how the islands’ geography, and history, and the social blending of their people’s and cultures have helped to forge a distinct and unique Caribbean “sense of life” and aesthetic. Among books that have followed, Last Man Standing, a collection of contemporary artwork by celebrated Vincentian artist Robert Joyette, is the first in a planned SFI Books series on contemporary Caribbean art spotlighting the works of artists across the region. The aim of the series is to celebrate the Caribbean’s artistic talent and potential and take the region’s art into the home of the average Caribbean person.

First Reads, the journal edited by King, publishes creative literary works, including short fiction and poetry. Kings says that “there is a thirst for Caribbean creative works, since the Caribbean voice is still under-represented in literary journals worldwide” and that First Reads is a response to fill that void. The inaugural issue of First Reads was released on March 31, 2010, with the publication of “The Obeah Man,” a short story by acclaimed Vincentian playwright Godfrey Bobby Fraser.

First Reads welcomes submissions from Caribbean and non-Caribbean writers and poets. It is e-mailed on the last Tuesday of every month except July, August and December.

For full article, see http://caribbeanbookblog.wordpress.com/

For SFI titles, see www.thesfibook.com

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