Poetry and Environmental Messages on St. Martin Day

St. Martin is getting ready for St. Martin Day, a holiday celebrated island-wide on November 11 with a variety of activities including official speeches, sports events, beach picnics, and music performances. As part of the celebrations, broadcaster and popular talk-show host Jacques “Billy D” Hamlet will air Lasana M. Sekou’s poem “Cradle of the Nation” as a St. Martin Day radio special at 12 midnight on November 11 and at 3:00pm of the same day.

The radio station SOS 95.9 FM and 98.1 Pearl FM will air the 13-minute dramatic poem, written and recited by Sekou, accompanied by an orchestra of music sampling and sound effects by Angelo Rombley, from The Salt Reaper CD, a House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) production. In the poetry-music drama it is the “voice” of the Great Salt Pond speaking to the St. Martin people about aspects of their history. “Airing ‘Cradle of the nation’ also raises more awareness about the meaning and value of the Great Salt Pond to our history, culture, identity, and the health of the natural environment,” said Sekou.

HNP has a protect-the-pond petition open for everyone to sign at the Jubilee Library and the St. Maarten Museum. The author said, “We want to involve the nation’s people as wide as possible, in signing the petition and in being aware about the deep cultural identity and extreme environmental importance of the Great Salt Pond. This radio-theater may help to spread the word a bit more at some level of consciousness and hopefully it motives more positive and protective action.”

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