The Spaces Between Words is a series of literary podcasts, produced and edited by Giselle Rampaul of the University of the West Indies, and supported by the Literatures in English section at UWI’s St. Augustine campus. Spaces is also a partner of the 2012 NGC Bocas Lit Fest. At last year’s festival, Rampaul and her team recorded interviews with many Bocas 2011 writers, now available via the Spaces website. We’re very pleased that they’ll be doing the same at the 2012 festival, and we look forward to hearing the podcasts n the coming months!
“Last year in March, UWI’s STAN magazine invited me to do an interview with [Canada-based Trinidadian writer] Shani Mootoo when she was writer-in-residence at UWI. While transcribing the audio-recording of the interview, I really enjoyed being able to actually hear Mootoo’s voice as she discussed her writing and her experiences….
“Because I was also then the co-ordinator of Campus Literature Week, which aims to showcase the work of both new and established local writers, I thought that such a series could easily intersect with and develop this thrust in the Literatures in English (LIE) section. It would allow listeners to hear the writers not only read from their work but also discuss issues related to their creative processes and their writing. The interviews would be useful to students of literature and creative writing, giving them a range of perspectives on different issues. The podcasts could also be used as teaching tools or support material for university courses, not just here at UWI, but in other places that teach Caribbean literature.
“One of the advantages of producing a podcast series is that it provides free access to knowledge. This, I think, is especially important in the current technological age, when the future of academic publishing is constantly being discussed. At the same time, the podcasts were not meant to be purely of academic interest, but would appeal to anyone with a love for books, or anyone with a general interest in creative writing or issues related to Caribbean identities….
“The readings at the beginnings of the interviews have all been fascinating introductions to the writers’ work. You can’t help wanting to read The Book of Night Women after hearing Marlon James reading from the first paragraph of his book. The range of Caribbean (and sometimes also non-Caribbean) accents also brings the books to life in a very appealing way and makes every interview unique. In fact, Charlotte Williams points out the performative aspect of readings by Caribbean authors especially in her interview. And Edward Baugh talks about his inspiration for his own oration from church sermons.”