“Children of the Ash” at Grenada’s Spiceword Festival 2022

House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) appraises the St. Vincent bestseller, the poetry collection Children of the Ash, by N.C. Marks.

With its first print-run sold out within three months of its launch here last June, Children of the Ash by Vincentian author N.C. Marks is a bestseller, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Marks’ publisher reprinted the poetry book in September and the “new” Children of the Ash will launch in Grenada at the 12th annual Aunty Tek Spiceword Festival, at La Boucan Creative Center, October 22, 2022, at 7 PM, said Sample.

The poems of the 120-page book range from the acidic to the sensual, like “Boom,” “Me Nar Go Back (To Red Zone),” “Minister of Everything,” and “Ash is Love.” “I’ve not read a Vincentian writer whose words explode off the page like N.C. Marks,” said Jomo Thomas, an attorney and former SVG Speaker of the House.

Children of the Ash is “An invaluable barometer of Vincentian society’s response to the volcanic eruption of the island’s mistress Soufrière in the 21st century,” said UK cultural researcher Dr. Michael McMillan.

Marks, a high school geography teacher, also embraces the archipelago. “Grenada and all Caribbean islands that have a volcano history and those that haven’t suffered directly from volcanic disasters but know the environmental fallout and trauma of Caribbean people as volcano refugees — are inhabited by children of the ash,” said Marks.

The University of Belize lecturer, Ubaldimir Guerra, looks at the deep-dive social verses and global perspectives underpinning Children of the Ash: “N.C. Marks’ collection combusts to bear witness to ‘rape culture,’ suppression and landscape destruction, and unearth a horizon of truths and hypocrisies often buried by the rubble and violence of dominant media narratives, corruption, abuse, and neoliberal agendas.”

As to her Spice Isle book tour, “I want the people of Grenada to continue enjoying the culture of good books and exciting poetry,” said Marks, who is also a novelist. The launch of Children of the Ash on Saturday shares the lit fest date with guest writers participating in the “Night of Poetry Spoken Word” at La Boucan.

The activities of Caribbean writers, networking of cultural organizations, and the launching of books published in the Caribbean “is growing and I’m really marveling at what’s happening across our region,” said Shujah Reiph, founder/director of the St. Martin Book Fair. Children of the Ash was the “main book” launched at the St. Martin lit fest in June 2022.

The Spiceword Festival, October 20 – 22, 2022, is a presentation of the Grenada Cultural Foundation in collaboration with the Grenadian Published Authors, Inc.

Children of the Ash by N.C. Marks is available in bookstores in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), St. Martin, and at Amazon and SPDbooks https://bit.ly/3b8Pnd3.

Also see https://www.bajanreporter.com/2022/07/hotly-anticipated-children-of-the-ash-by-n-c-marks-new-svg-poetry-book-comes-home/

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