Month: September 2012

LiTTribute from Other Events – Office of the President, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

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Other Events – Office of the President, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago


Five Year Old Child Stars at LiTTribute to the Republic

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Introduction of the Author, Kris Rampersad
By Saiesh Rampersad (5-years old)
at LiTTribute To the Republic with readings and performances inspired by LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, at Knowsley, September 15, 2012
Good day ladies and gentlemen, and children too. I am here to tell you about my Auntie Krissy.  I call her Krissy-wissy.
Sometimes, when I want to be naughty, I call her Christopher.
My auntie reads my story books with me. Sometimes we read the dictionary too! It is so much fun. You, and you, and you should try it sometime.
My auntie took me to Port of Spain and showed me where Trini writers worked at the newspaper.

She worked there too. “For peanuts,” she said.
“Why peanuts and not for money like Dad? I asked.
“Because people think writers are monkeys,” she said.
I laughed till my belly hurt. My peanut-crunching monkey-auntie is so funny!
I went to the library in Port of Spain for the first time with auntie Krissy wissy.
She tried to join me in the library so I could get books with a card.
Can you imagine the librarian asked ME for a utility bill?
I wondered what was wrong with her.
I was only three years old, like my little brother Premant. I could not read very well, then. I choose books for Krissy-wissy to read to me. I liked being with so many books and stories. I liked the pictures, but the stories in the books were so silly.
Auntie said they make no sense to Trini children and promised to write stories for me that will make sense.
Now she writes stories for me about Munnie, a Carnival butterfly. She writes about the birds of Phagwa, and the flags of Hosay.
I am now a big boy, five years old, and I could read, ent?  I love the stories she writes. 
She writes about the fishes near the volcano under the sea called Kick Em Jenny. That is a very sad story when the volcano goes boom.
She writes about growling ghosts at Devils Woodyard in Princes Town near grandma’s house. That is a scary story.
She writes stories for me about the first peoples who lived in Trinidad. She calls them Banwari. They lived in the forest.
I told her to add giant dinosaurs to the stories to make them better.
She wrote about Banwari and a dinosaur, and one for Premant about how the octopus lost its shell. I helped Premant count its eight legs.
I now like all the Banwari stories about the first children who lived in Trinidad. I told my auntie she should make a book with the stories to share with my friends. She said she will make a movie with them too.
I hope it is a cartoon! Yeppie!
I do not see her very much because she goes to many countries. She is writing some special stories for me about all the places she visits to share with my friends. 
I like this new book, LiTTscapes. It has many pictures. It is a book about people who write stories about Trinidad and Tobago.
When I grow up I will read the books by these people who wrote the stories. Auntie says she can take me to visit some of the places in the pictures in the book too. Maybe, ladies, and gentlemen and children, if you ask her she will take you too! But not if you call her Christopher.
One day I will write stories too. One day I will write a book, like my auntie, and she will be here telling you all about how she helped me learn to read and write.
I hope you like my auntie’s new book – LiTTscapes. I hope you will buy it for your children and for your friends. This will help her make more books for my friends and I and to help other young writers too.
Thank you for the book, and the stories, auntie Krissy-wissy.
Thank you all for listening to my story about my auntie and the stories she writes for ME, and for you, and you, and you too.

Five Year old Saiesh Rampersad introduces his aunti Kris Rmapersad and Five year old talk-drummer  Ire Charles  of the Chibale Drumming Ensemble also performs at LiTTribute to the Republic  hosted by First Lady Jean Ramjohn Richards and Dr Kris Rampersad. Photos by Kenrick Ramjit

A LiTTribute to the Republic | Trinidad Express Newspaper | Featured News

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LOOKING AT DISPLAYS: Dr Jean Ramjohn Richards and Dr Kris Rampersad look at display of books by T&T authors from the bibliography of LiTTscapes — Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, laid out at Knowsley in Port of Spain for the LiTTribute to the Republic on Saturday. —Photos: Kenrick Ramjit

A LiTTribute to the Republic

By Essiba Small   

Dr Jean Ramjohn Richards believes that it is the duty of citizens to preserve this country’s historic buildings, lest we become “poor imitations of foreign places, while features of our history crumble around us”. Occasion was the LiTTribute to the Republic Tea with the wife of President George Maxwell Richards held last Saturday at Knowsley, Queen’s Park West.
The event, hosted by author Kris Rampersad, under the patronage of Richards, was an evening of readings and performances inspired by Rampersad’s recently released LiTTscapes, a book that maps the living experiences of famous characters in fiction from Trinidad and Tobago.

In her appraisal of LiTTscapes, national poet laureate Eintou Pearl Springer said our literature is not merely confined to pages in books, but to our kaiso, our pichakaree, chutney, stick fight lavways, our Traditional Mas speeches, midnight robber, pierrot, Black Indian, warao; our great variety of drum beats, folk songs, chants.
She said she has been using our literature, the poetry, plays storytelling, music, to impact and refashion negative behaviours since the mid 80s in the UK, the US and other Caribbean islands.
“I have seen positive improvements in grades, sense of self, values. Our curricula still entrench the notion of our invisibility in our own nation space.
“Most of it and certainly the manner of teaching bear doubtful relevance to the needs of our children and youth. We are cursed with leadership in many facets of this society which is dangerously culturally illiterate. As we celebrate our jubilee year we have not properly celebrated our writers, our musicians, our artistes, the poetry of our patriotic calypsoes, our literature is what records, carries the wisdom of our ancestors, the pains of the then and now and possibilities for the future.
“Our literatures reflect and can reshape the soul of the nation. Surely, we have produced more than Machel Montano, wonderful as he may be. How can we as a nation be satisfied with the crass mediocrity?”
Richards, in her celebration of LiTTscapes, said much of who and what we are is lying dormant or tucked away in the memories of some of the nation’s elders.
“The files containing so much that is important to our future development must be dusted off and become an effective instrument for shaping a better time and a better place.”
LiTTscapes, she said, provides a “most useful beachhead for stirring or buttressing a programme of self-discovery, local and foreign tourism and entrepreneurship, among a number of other avenues for sustainable development in our country.”
Guests included Works Minister Emmanuel George, Richards’ daughter Maxine Richards and author/historian Michael Anthony.
Entertainment was provided by the Chibale Drumming Ensemble made up of Springer’s grandchildren including Ajani and Shomari Healy, Shanaya Springer and five- year-old Ire Charles — a little boy with a big voice, Andre Mangatal accompanied by Fitzroy Inniss who performed Anthony’s love song “Rose of Mayaro”, much to the writer’s delight.
Five-year-old Saiesh Rampersad, in his role of the Mystic Masseur introduced his “aunty Kris” to the podium.
Rampersad said she was inspired to host the literary evening by the people, the recent celebration of Independence and the upcoming Republic Day anniversary “and all the other preceding anniversaries of us being here and making this land home”.
“It was also a literary tribute — to reclaim and refocus attention on the amazing mass of expression — oral and written — and the connections between them.
“We have in many ways come to speak with the same voice as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago though often we are so absorbed with our own little corner. With jostling for space, that we do not seem to hear that our neighbour is saying the same thing.”
Her book, excerpts of which were read at the tea party, is merely an accessory she said, “to encourage readings, to encourage appreciation of local literature, to promote national self-appreciation, to help us re-envision who we are, and to emphasis the connections between us”.A LiTTribute to the Republic | Trinidad Express Newspaper | Featured News

Rampersad: Claim our writers, recognise our heroes

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We cannot continue to view ourselves through the shattered lenses of the past.” Dr Kris Rampersad, author of LiTTscapes Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, made this comment at LiTTribute to the Republic. The launch was also twinned with Tea Readings with the First Lady Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards.  She was joined by her daughter Maxine Richards and daughter-in-law Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards.

Rampersad said: “The creating of the society we want has to
begin with us. It is not reinventing the wheel. “It is taking charge and setting for ourselves our own benchmarks of public action and accountability. We are taking this (literature) into all our communities. “We are asking them to claim their writers, recognise their heroes and respect their elders for the repository of knowledge and wisdom that they are…and yes, set up monuments, too, to them so the visitors will come honour them and honour us too, as our ancestors did in their land before coming here, so we do not have to go too far to look for our heroes.” 
On a lighter note, the launch featured readings by Saiesh Rampersad, five, an appraisal by cultural activist Pearl Eintou Springer, Chibale Drumming Ensemble and invocation by Kadie Edwards, Jolie Wong and Josiah Persad.

Rampersad: Claim our writers, recognise our heroes

Michael Anthony – save Mayaro post office

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The destruction of McLeod House, Chase Village, Chaguanas, sparked a lot of furore recently. Historian Michael Anthony is now appealing to the relevant authorities to act swiftly to save the landmark Mayaro Post Office which he claims is at the point of collapse in his hometown.

 Anthony noted legislation was being worked upon to save these heritage treasures. “When it is enforced the people who live in these houses will have to look after them. I am hoping something would be done too because the house would collapse.” In the aftermath of the McLeod House demolition, Vel Lewis, National Trust and Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, says Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Clifton De Coteau plans to meet with with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to “follow up on the listing.” Lewis said while “properties of interest” had been identified, there was an urgent need to concretise the formal listing.


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Dear Lizzie, Dunno if 2 say congrats or condolences ie on Forbes listing u among d 100 most powerful women of d world: to think that d list is topped by that German woman, and you, way down the line at number 25, after two wives of US Presidents, a pop singer, two TV hostesses and even some leading minions of your own empire – oh the horror, the horror! Is the sun setting on the British Empire?

Finding the nexus between literature, culture, heritage, tourism, development and leisure

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Her Excellency Dr Jean Ramjohn Richards will collaborate with author, educator, and cultural heritage facilitator Dr Kris Rampersad and friends to host LiTTribute to the Republic on September 15, at Knowsley building in Port-of-Spain. The event is in commemoration of Patriot’s Month—that spans 50 years of Independence and the 36th anniversary of T&T.
The fund-raising tea readings are part of a number of events and activities planned to stimulate and renew interest in local writing, reading and literacy. It follows the August 4 release of Rampersad’s book LiTTscapes—Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago at White Hall, another heritage icon and is part of the commemorative activities of the jubilee year of independence.
LiTTscapes celebrates the creative imagination and the writings of more than 100 works by more than 60 T&T authors. “It is meant to recreate reading as a leisurely and enjoyable activity for all ages through various interactive events and activities including readings, tours, and shows. It also hopes to stimulate collaborations between and among the creative industries including music, performance, art, drama and film along with renewed appreciation of our built and natural heritage,” Rampersad explained.
Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, said LiTTscapes derived out of the literature of T&T and the inspiration that our land, our people, our culture and our heritage had provided to our writers. LiTTscape is available at Metropolitian Books Suppliers and other book stores.
• For LiTTribute bookings, tickets and details contact or call 377-0326.