Philip Nanton - February 2023 - Gene Lawrence is a gifted and dedicated musician of the Eastern Caribbean. Best known as a composer and guitarist, he acknowledges the special significance of the steel pan as an influence. Asked once what was unique about his musical style, he replied: ‘I hear that rhythm and that bass … Continue reading The Musical World of Gene Lawrence
Philip Nanton - January 2023 - It was a few weeks into the school holidays when the invitation to the dance party arrived. It was to be held just before the holidays ended. The venue was my cousin’s home and the party was to celebrate his older sister’s birthday. At the first opportunity I asked … Continue reading Dance Lessons
‘All that Greek manure under the green bananas’: Migration in Derek Walcott’s Omeros and Homer’s The Odyssey.
Philip Nanton - 3 November 2018, Migration Studies, 6, 3, 472 - 476. - In 1992, soon after Derek Walcott had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a frenzy of literary comparison between Walcott and Homer commenced. It was captured in the English Observer newspaper’s profile of Walcott which offered the headline ‘Homer of the … Continue reading ‘All that Greek manure under the green bananas’: Migration in Derek Walcott’s Omeros and Homer’s The Odyssey.
The Caribbean Voice of George Lamming
Philip Nanton - George Lamming, who has died in Barbados at the age of 94, is regarded as one of the foremost writers of the Caribbean. Born in 1927, he was the son of a single mother and grew up in a poor black village community, Carrington. Later, as an established novelist and academic, he lived a … Continue reading The Caribbean Voice of George Lamming
A West Indian in Africa
Philip Nanton - I am a small island, sea-level Caribbean person, accustomed to stand in my swim suit and look for the green flash as the sun sinks below the horizon. From May to October I scan weather reports for indications of tropical hurricanes, not mountain blizzards. Last year, one month after my seventy-second birthday, … Continue reading A West Indian in Africa
The Last Gig
Philip Nanton - He eats like a bird now. His back aches and so does his belly. He can recite a catalogue of established pains working up from his wobbly knees all the way to the dull ache in his mouth from the blasted dentures that grin at him each night from the bedside glass … Continue reading The Last Gig
Belonging and a Sense of Place
Philip Nanton - Twenty years ago I returned from England to live in the Caribbean. I lived in England for nearly forty years. I returned to Barbados, not St. Vincent my island of birth. So have I returned? Yes and no. Yes, to the Caribbean, no in the sense that the experience of different places … Continue reading Belonging and a Sense of Place
Why I Write
Philip Nanton - There was first a concern to please others, especially my colonial Caribbean primary school teacher. The context was the hard wooden school bench, head down, legs swinging and not quite touching the ground. In front of me lay the cheap, blue exercise writing book, the lion and unicorn on the front, times … Continue reading Why I Write
Send off for Stilly
Philip Nanton - Half my friends are dead.I will make you new ones, said earth.No, give me them back, as they were, instead,with faults and all, I cried. (Derek Walcott, Sea Canes, Collected Poems 1948 - 1984, 331) I thought that I had arrived early for the send off. But already large SUVs with darkenedwindscreens … Continue reading Send off for Stilly