The diverse textures of stories by 24 of Dominica’s established and fresh authors can now be found in a newly launched book, “Montage Domnik”.
The anthology, which is the first for the Waitukubuli Writers (WW) breaks new ground in exposing the visions of Dominican writers based here and abroad.
In dialect, standard English and creole patois, the stories and poems featured in Montage Domnik explore a myriad of relevant Caribbean issues. The quest for cultural preservation and the importance of family values are examined, whilst the influence of folklore and superstition, migration, crime, and natural disasters are explored and presented from an island-based perspective, rather than through a distant spyglass.
The book, which was launched on February 27, 2021, at the Old Mill Cultural Center, features writers such as Alwin Bully, Sarah Abraham, Michelle Belle, Curtis Clarendon, Jermainia Colaire-Didier, Yakima Cuffy, Ronald Deschamps, Andrea Dib, Edd Elick, Nicole Georges-Bennett, Jane Grell, Antonia Harris, Leona Jeremiah, Lisa Latouche, Alick Lazare, Dorothy Leevy, Kathy McLean, Erwin Mitchel, Jules Pascal, Anella Shillingford, Roy Sanford, Kristine Simelda, Vida Wilson-Toussaint and Gwenith Whitford.
Publisher and founding member of WW, Kristine Simelda, told the small audience at the Book launch that the title – Montage Dominik – describes not only the lush physical landscape of the island but also the soaring fertile imaginations of its contributors.
“Many of the themes are outside the standard worldview, voices that have never been heard before are showcased within its pages…island books matter and the time has come to liberate these creative voices in print,” she declared.
Another founding member of WW and author, Roy Sanford, also addressed the ceremony. He disclosed that WW which was formed in 2016, aims to provide a platform for the writer, which he said he believes the anthology has achieved.
Sanford said that since its inception, the group has hosted several events, all centered around their mission which is to “craft authentic literature from Dominican writers for readers at home and around the world”.
“The overall objective of the group is to mentor and promote Dominican writers and to help them improve the quality of their work through constructive criticism leading towards wider distribution and readership,” he stated.
Sanford added, “At the beginning of 2018 the idea of putting together an anthology of poetry and short stories was initiated by Kristine. The aim of this anthology is to put out a new set of Dominican literature from already published writers and new ones who had never published before and were just waiting for the opportunity to do so.”
As volume 2 of Montage Domnik is already in the making, the group is hopeful that WW will earn a “well-deserved” place in the archives of Dominica’s literary culture.
Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence has also endorsed the book as he is of the view that “publications like these help to give our writers a much wider base and also it is an important form of documentation of some of our literary works in Dominica.”