A report from the St Lucia Times.
A full Conference Room of the Cultural Development Foundation in Castries was on hand for the launch of John Robert Lee’s Collected Poems 1975-2015 on Wednesday night, the 24th of May.
The audience included local writers, members of the diplomatic corps, Minister of Culture Mrs. Fortuna Belrose and Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, well known as a patron of the arts.
The programme included an introduction to the poet’s work by Msgr. Dr. Patrick Anthony, music by Augustin Charlie Julian, Augustin Papius, and Shirley Ann Cyril-Mayers. Among poets sharing their work with the audience were George Goddard, McDonald Dixon, Alcess Ismael, Vladimir Lucien and Kendel Hippolyte. An exhibition of the paintings of Gary Butte (whose art provides the cover of the Collected Poems) was also on display.
For the evening’s highlight, Lee read from his new book, accompanied by the violon and chac-chac of Julian and Papius of Manmay Lakay and also ended with new poems, one dedicated to the St. Lucia National Trust and the other written in memory of the late Nobel laureate, Sir Derek Walcott.
Barbara Jacobs-Small hosted the event.
Lee’s new book, published by the Peepal Tree Press of the UK, is available at the new bookshop, St. Lucia Books 758, housed at The Pyramid, Alliance Francaise; the Folk Research Centre and from the author.