A report by Katrina King for Barbados Today.
Prolific Barbadian poet and Caribbean literary icon, Kamau Brathwaite was celebrated for his ingenuity at the launch of his latest masterpiece Liviticus.
Held yesterday at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, local and regional artists paid tribute to the living legend during the event which falls under the Caribbean Festival of Arts, CARIFESTA XIII.
The celebratory event began with a procession from the Cave Hill campus of University of West Indies, by local and regional performers such as the Pompaset Tuk Band, the Israel Lovell Foundation and a Haitian Dance Group.
Settled in the theatre, former professor and prominent pan Africanist Dr Viola Davis gave her thoughts on the collection which describes the cultural lynching of Brathwaite’s work, after over 4000 books and archived items were stolen from his New York apartment.
Director of the National Institute of Arts, Clara Reyes also read three excerpts from Leviticus entitled The Lynching, To Dance with Joy and Obagata.
Reyes described the book as intense from the initial read, adding that readers were likely to gain a better appreciation for Brathwaite’s literary talents and his personality.
Lending her voice to Brathwaite who was unable to make the ceremony, Cecily Spencer-Cross read his self-penned letter which said “even though I cannot be here myself to have (Liviticus) presented at the opening of CARIFESTA XIII – part and aspect of our our Caribbean revolution here in Barbados, I hope my pain writing this will not be in vain”.