Trinidadians Making Waves in 2009

I am a white woman of the Caribbean and a writer. While white people make up around 1% of the population in the Caribbean, making them rare-ish, white people, let alone white women who write – well that’s rarer than hen’s teeth. There are only one or two who have become really famous in the past: Jean Rhys and Phyllis Shand Allfrey.

So it’s something of an incredible freak statistic that this year, 2009, another white female writer from Trinidad has just publsihed a book. Her name is Amanda Smyth and her book , set in Tobago, Black Rock, (Tindal Street Press) has been getting rave reviews. My friend Donna Daley-Clarke mentioned Smyth to me about  a year ago: “Yeah, I must get you two together.” That sort of thing. I forgot about it, till I began to hear about Black Rock. I’ve Googled Smyth, of course, and found that’s she’s a babe. So now I’m more than  a touch intrigued. We must meet. I keep explaining to my publicist that it would be rather a coup to have us do something together.

So this sexy white woman writer type from Trinidad (who I don’t know personally, odd) is also publishing a book in 2009. Wow.

And then my friend the poet Anthony Joseph came out with an absolutely sizzling new collecion of poems Bird Head Son (Salt). I was lucky enough to teach with Anthony at Lumb Bank last year and so heard some of these poems then. Also  Trinidadian, Anthony is a fine poet and a musician, fronting a band called The Spasm Band, an eight piece afro-jazz affar. Anthony, over six foot and sexy-like sexy-self – is also a shy man, self-effacing, unassuming. Yet bold and electrifying on stage.

Anthony, as I found out from spending a week with him at Lumb – is a rampant insomniac.

So: in the space of three months; there will be this amazing constellation of Trinidadians publishing in the UK: Amanda Smyth’s Black Rock came out in March, Anthony Joseph’s Bird Head Son came out soon after. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle is out in July.


I find this rather exciting. Not just to be published at all. But to be published alongside my fellow Trinidadians. Fuck, it’s great.

Someone book us, please.


~ by moniqueroffey on May 14, 2009.

5 Responses to “Trinidadians Making Waves in 2009”

  1. Hi Monique
    Sounds good! Let’s meet!

  2. What’s your tel no etc?

  3. Monique, send me yr number and I’ll try you – either on thurs/friday lunch or on the weekend…amanda

  4. email me at
    and I’ll send you my tel no,
    yes strange address,

  5. weird, it bounced back. email me at


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