Guabancex by Celia A. Sorhaindo: a poetry collection from Papillote Press


A huge shout-out to Celia on the publication of her first collection of poetry. Congratulations!

“A new voice that speaks with sensitivity, maturity and assurance out of a horrendous experience. The final poem Hurricane PraXis (Xorcising Maria Xperience) is a tour de force.” JOHN ROBERT LEE

Papillote Press announces the forthcoming publication of a poetry pamphlet by Celia A Sorhaindo, a poet from the Commonwealth of Dominica.

On 18 September 2017, a category 5 hurricane, the worst in recorded history, hit the Caribbean island of Dominica. Hurricane Maria destroyed lives and land. Nothing would be the same again. Guabancex explores the complex mix of experiences and emotions, both during and after the event.

The collection is named in recognition of the ancient indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. One of these groups, the Taino, called the supreme female spiritual entity associated with all natural destructive forces, Guabancex.


“Hurricane Maria was a very traumatic time,” says Celia Sorhaindo, “not just for those of us here in Dominica when it hit, but for those overseas who had family and friends living through it. We saw the worst side of nature, and the best and worst sides of human nature and went through incredible mental and physical challenges. Even though there has been amazing recovery, things have not just returned to ‘business as usual’ for the island or many of its inhabitants. For me, writing the poems for this pamphlet was a therapeutic exercise, a way of trying to make sense of, work through and process all that happened and explore some of the varied experiences and differing points of view. Poetry is an incredibly potent literary form and I believe writing and reading poetry can be radically transformational acts.”

Celia A Sorhaindo was born in Dominica. She left when she was eight, lived for many years in the UK and returned home in 2005. Her poems have been published in Caribbean journals and in the anthology, New Daughters of Africa. She is a fellow of the Cropper Foundation Creative Writers Workshop and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She has been long-listed for the UK National Poetry competition. This is her first published collection.

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