Coolitude poetics interview with Shivanee Ramlochan

Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, and book blogger. She is the book reviews editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine. Shivanee also writes about books for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s largest literary festival, as well as Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest independent Caribbean specialty bookseller. She is the deputy editor of The Caribbean Review of Books. She was the runner-up in the 2014 Small Axe Literary Competition for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers’ Prize. Her first book of poems, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting,will be published by Peepal Tree Press on October 3rd, 2017.

The archive and the poet

As a relatively invisible community in the United States, you face many issues of representation. You’ve read that insulting article about how a white journalist “discovered” us off of the A train. How are you written about? How do you write about yourself and your community? Do you use formal poems to express your musicality of language — the sonnet or villanelle? Do you use postmodern methods of fragmentation and collage from a brown perspective? What sources do you draw from? What is important to you as a writer?

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