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Caribbean Nights: Poetry
June 11, 2020, 8:00 AM – June 15, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT
It’s hard to believe now that, back in the 1980s the UK had little idea of the wealth of poetry which was and has always come out of the Caribbean. In 1986, the BBC’s Arena film Caribbean Nights: Poetry changed all that, when activist and intellectual Darcus Howe chaired a thought-provoking discussion with poet Derek Walcott (who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992), pioneering reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and emerging poet Fred D’Aguiar.
Including clips of seminal readings by the late dub poet Michael Smith and Kamau Brathwaite, one of the founding fathers in the use of Caribbean English in poetry, this film was ground-breaking in introducing Caribbean poets and poetry to a mainstream UK audience. But even now, in the twenty-first century, there is a freshness to the debate, clear insights and, above all, a real sense of the vital need for poetry in our everyday lives.
The George Padmore Institute (GPI) is delighted to be part of Your Local Arena, co-hosting this screening of Caribbean Nights: Poetry from the BBC Arena archives, available for five days only from 11 June 2020. Join the event on the Your Local Arena website.