Tucked away in The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ Art Library, WomanSpeak Journal Vol. 5, is a collection of works by fifteen Caribbean writers and artists. Edited by Lynn Sweeting, WomanSpeak is the result of Sweeting sifting through the finest examples of art and literature by emerging and scholarly women writers in the Caribbean. Stretching across the literary arts, this journal offers something for everyone; poetry, fiction, play writing, myth and lore and for the visually inclined, visual arts.
Instead of finding poems about the sun, sand and sea, universal symbols of the ‘Caribbean lifestyle’, one experiences unexpected immersion into very personal and poignant moments in time.
There are times of laughter and curious smiles, and then there are moments that promise to be unsettling. Will parallels to your own life be drawn as you read Angelique Nixon’s Never Again? The words “Now, I feel myself (me) being a woman” (Nixon 23) will echo long after the last page is turned while Opal Palmer Adisa’s Empowerment (Adisa 15) stirs reminiscing about the innocence of childhood:
she wants to know
why the sea and the sky
I tell her they
are wombs that nurture
she hands me another gift
for the wall
and I inscribe on the top
of her world
this is a nuclear free zone (Adisa 16)
Juxtaposed against this innocence Rhonda Claridge’s Puta (Claridge 41) brings the reader back to the immediacy of being a 21st century Cuban woman.
In its entirety, the WomanSpeak Journal Vol. 5 is a compilation of voices that manages to blend into a cohesive stream of consciousness. The individuality of each artist pushes through without being noisy or overpowering. This journal is in fact empowering. A moving and thoughtfully edited collection, this journal speaks to the young and the young at heart. An insightful and enjoyable read, the WomanSpeak Journal Vol. 5 would be a worthy addition to any art enthusiast’s library.
Sweeting, Lynn, ed. The WomanSpeak Journal. Vol. 5. Nassau: WomanSpeak, 2010. Print.
This book is available at the NAGB Art Library and available for purchase at the Mixed Media Gallery Store.
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