Dominican authors to be included in prestigious Canadian collection

From left: Kristine Simelda, Jeno Jacob, Roy Sanford, Lionel Levy, Joanne Skerrett

Five Dominican authors will have their works included in the Toronto Public Library’s prestigious Merril Collection; Canada’s premiere collection of speculative fiction.

The books of Roy Sanford, Lionel Levy, Kristine Simelda, Joanne Skerrett, and Jeno Jacob were donated to the collection and include works of folklore, myth and speculative fiction.

The authors and books are: Jeno Jacob – Dominica Folk Beliefs and How the Agouti Lost its Tail; Lionel Levy – The Silverspoon Effect; Joanne Skerrett – Abraham’s Treasure; Kristine Simelda – Face in the River and River of Fire; Roy Sanford – Three Nights Later, the Soukouyan on the Roof and Other Stories.

The presentation ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday. March 7th, 2017, and will be facilitated under the patronage of Dominica’s Trade and Investment Commissioner to Canada, Frances Delsol.

Delsol said the contribution is a unique opportunity for the authors and Dominica.

“This initiative helps in moving our beautiful island home towards the world stage. Not only are we known for our rare natural beauty but we can boast about world class writers of books that will broaden the minds and create more intrigue about our beautiful island – Dominica,” she said.

Nicole Georges-Bennett of the Piton Noire Writers Collective and Francis Jeffers of the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum will be on hand to witness the presentation to the Merril Collection which is currently curated by Lorna Toolis.

The works of five authors who reside in Dominica, or are of Dominican descent, will be on permanent display in the Merril Collection, which is housed at the Lillian H. Smith Library.

The Merril Collection which consists of over 72, 000 items, is unique in that it is Canada’s only collection of this type that is open to the general public, and the academic community. It is also regarded as one of the world’s finest popular culture collections.

The donated books, were compiled through the efforts of several organizations: The Waitkubuli Writers based in Dominica, River Ridge Press Dominica, Papillote Press, the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum and the Piton Noire Dominica Sci-fi/fantasy Writers Collective.

This is the first time authors from Dominica are included in the collection.


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  1. Fran
    March 3, 2017

    Congratulations to all

  2. March 2, 2017

    This literary milestone was made possible thru the combined efforts of Waitukubuli Writers, a writers group that seeks to craft and promote Dominica’s literature world wide. Let’s keep up the good work!

  3. Let The Truth Be Told - Original
    March 2, 2017

    To further state, last year the government was offering Canadians approximately $50,000 to $70,000 to repair/convert their basements into housing for some of the refugees. To date, the government has spent millions of dollars to bring in refugees and to settle them. Yet, they will not build housing for the poor.
    Consider we have nine months of winter and it could be brutal, with very cold and snowy weather. One man recently went into a shelter and was turned back because there was no room. He went to a second one, to no avail. He was found dead in a washroom from a drug overdose.
    Some of the refugees are legitimate. Some are not. Some ousted their governments, if you remember the uprising in those countries. What they got for it is ISIS takeover, worst than they had. Now, the burden is on the western governments to re-settle them. Not all Canadians are in favor.
    A good book it would make but as I stated, it will be deemed controversial, as one example.

  4. Let The Truth Be Told - Original
    March 2, 2017

    There are other books to be written about the happenings in this country of Canada; not fiction but facts, one of which I would love to write but they will say it is too controversial.
    Governments of this country do not support their pensioners enough and also give them a decent pension for having worked here. These people are lobbying the government to assist its pensioners, including the homeless, some of whom reside on the streets. The stories and facts are too numerous to mention.
    What is occurring here the government has brought in thousands of refugees with more to come.
    I will state here I am not against helping those who are in need. However, these people live much better, get more money for settlement here than some pensioners in Canada.
    They are demanding, some asking for a bigger house and TV and other amenities the poor do not get. This makes some Canadians angry.
    This is why President Trump made those comments of making America great again.

  5. Let The Truth Be Told - Original
    March 1, 2017

    Congratulations to you. For those of us who have listened to some of the stories and read about them, they must be captivating and make for captivating stories.

  6. Star
    March 1, 2017

    Congratulations to all. Keep up the good work.

    March 1, 2017

    Kristine Simelda, is this lady a Dominican. Am i seeing wrong? This last name is not from Dominica.

  8. March 1, 2017

    I congratulate these five Dominican authors. :-P

    Canadian writers , especially if they are first time writers, usually find it difficult to gain any meaningful recognition in Canada. I remember being told this by a Canadian publisher in the 1960s and it is how I found it.

    The fact that these five Dominican authors – two ladies and three men – have gained such prestigious recognition in Canada is significant. No doubt their work merits this attention. I wish them well.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  9. Ideal
    March 1, 2017

    Congratulation to all, Will try to be there.

  10. Righteous
    March 1, 2017

    Congratulations to all.

  11. dominica
    March 1, 2017

    Very excited for Dominica
    God bless Dominica

    • March 1, 2017

      You have a right to be excited.

      Dominica is drawing attention to itself in commendable ways.

      I just want to add this. Other Dominicans have written books. To them I say *Have confidence in yourselves. Promote your work. Do not hesitate to push your books forward. Sometimes you have to be creative. It is not wrong to toot our own horn.*

      I have been down that road. It gives me a certain thrill to somebody else succeeding because know it is a challenging field.

      Blessings :!:

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  12. Proud
    March 1, 2017

    Congratulations to you all. Keep up the good work!

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