I have to admit upfront, rather gauchely, that I have a vested interest in Andre’s work, because the knowledge of his excellent poetic voice is no new news, to me. I’ve been privileged to hear some of the pieces in Trick Vessels when they were freshly served up to the Cropper Foundation participants of 2010 for discussion and often-spirited debate. I know these poems, and I don’t know them. I thrill to them. They have kept me company throughout this year’s festival, and it has been a synaesthetic delight, a walk through several converging paths all at once.
Responding to Laughlin’s question on the title choice of her newest collection (which is dedicated to him, the audience learnt), Capildeo responded that one person’s dark and unaccustomed words are another’s clear and bright ones: she wants her readers to be aware, to be slightly (or highly) uncomfortable, situation depending. She expressed dissatisfaction with the ethnographic slurring of some of our fantastical folkloric creatures, the lagahoo, the douen. There is value, and a pressing sort of need, she averred, in identifying with every character, no matter how they’re morally cast: the good and the bad, the treacherous and the kind.
Laughlin asks Bagoo to bring the session to a reluctant close, with a reading of the first poem in Trick Vessels, published in the September 2011 issue of The Caribbean Review of Books, shared on the Bocas blog in the countdown to this year’s festival.
It gave the audience goosebump pleasures. It’s startling; it’s inventive. It’s tricky.
Photos by Rodell Warner, our official 2012 Festival photographer.