A-dZiko’s poetry party set for Red Bones

A-dZiko’s poetry party set for Red Bones

Written by Editor

Topics: Literature

Poet, storyteller, scriptwriter and soon-to-be novelist A-dZiko Simba is looking forward to the writer’s trip of a lifetime. She has been accepted for a six-week residency at the Yaddo Corporation Artists’ Retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. There, she will be immersed in writing in a setting which not only facilitates personal development but also, importantly, collaboration with persons from different countries and backgrounds.

Before she goes, though, A-dZiko Simba will be collaborating with a few Jamaican writers in a combination of fund-raiser towards the trip and a send-off poetry party. ‘Yo! Yaddo! Word!’ will be held at Redbones Blues Café, 1 Argyle Road, New Kingston, on Wednesday, May 29, starting at 8 p.m. Performing along with Ad-Ziko Simba will be M’Bala, Damali, Cherry Natural and Mel Cooke.

The admission fee of $1,000 covers not only entry to the event but also a copy of A-dZiko’s poetry CD ‘Crazi Ladi Dayz’. A-dZiko Simba is an internationally published and award winning writer Her debut novel, ‘All Over Again’ will be published by Blouse and Skirt Books this year. She has written for BBC television (the sitcom ‘The Real McKoy’), Jamaican radio and co-authored five stage plays. Her poetry has been anthologised in ‘So Much Things to Say: 100 Calabash Poets’ and ‘Jubilation!’. A-dZiko’s prose fiction has appeared in ‘Iron Balloons’.

A-dZiko Simba

A-dZiko Simba

She confesses that the significance of a residency at Yaddo did not come home until after being accepted. “I knew it was a good place to go to and I applied because being allowed all that time and space to just write is so rare and precious. It was after I go in and looked at the list of former residents that I was amazed,” A-dZiko said.

Among the early visitors to Yaddo were James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Mario Puzo of ‘Godfather’ fame.

A-dZiko will be looking to build on her growing body of work, but  hopes for more than that. “I really look forward to the possibilities for collaboration. I read a lot with M’Bala, a fabulous musician and visual artist, and that has been so rewarding. As Yaddo hosts artists from all all disciplines, who knows what I will encounter and what creativity it will spark?” she said.

She has chosen good company for ‘Yo! Yaddo! Word’. Cherry Natural is a reggae poet who began performing in 1979. She has published two collections of poetry – ‘Come Mek We Reason’ (1989) and ‘Earth Woman: Selected Poems 1989-2001’ (2003) – and released a variety of spoken word recordings. M’Bala is a member of the Akwaaba Drummers, the acoustic quartet Naseberry Jazz and the Papiumba Big Band (a duo with Hugh Pape). His work has been included in several anthologies including ‘Focus 83′, ‘Wheel and Come Again: An Anthology of Reggae Poetry’, ‘Voiceprint’, ‘So Much Things to Say: 100 Calabash Poets’ and ‘Jubilation!’. His first collection of poetry ‘Light in a Book of Stone’ (2005) was published in the Calabash Chapbook Series.

Damali is heavily involved in the Thousand Poets for Change initiative in Jamaica, while Mel Cooke, whose debut poetry collection ‘11/9’ was published in 2008 by Blouse and Skirt Books, released the live CD ‘Seh Sup’m: Mel Cooke Live from Kingston’ in January this year.

“It is all poetry but there is sure to be variety,” A-dZiko said, encouraging all to come to Redbones this Wednesday (May 29).

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