Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Literature students review One Room Shack

Here is another review of my book from two literature students of the Dominica State College. It was a class assignment that they critique a book from a Dominican author. I was very pleased that my book, One Room Shack, was selected. For comments on their book review check Dominica News Online but you can read the entire review below:

It is a rare race of Shakespeares and Walcotts that we live in.

Written by Delroy “Nesta” Williams, One Room Shack, a compilation of the aforementioned poet’s pieces is an initiative to publish his thoughts on an understandable range of topics. Mr Williams, a graduate of the Dominica Grammar School began writing at the tender age of eleven. Williams decided one day to go out on a limb and read his poems at the first Nature Island Literary Festival and got positive feedback; up until that time he was a closet poet. When asked what fueled him to publish a book he said, “Everybody kept asking when I was going to release a book and since no other young people were releasing books I did it to inspire others that they could also do it”

The poems are contemplations on topics such as; love, Dominica, opportunity, patriarchs, comfort objects, dreams, salvation, life and so on. The compilation opens with an acknowledgement of Williams’ humble beginnings in a “One Room Shack” which is essentially its (the compilation’s) namesake and ends with a poem called “Thank You” which shows the poet’s gratitude to his readers or audience for picking up his first book. The poem continues from the title, “For trusting your instinct/Picking up my first poetry book/If you take nothing else/From my rhymes and lines/Remember the spirit within us/At the core is divine.” This is someone who has appreciated his blessings and does not take them for granted. With a mindset like this, Delroy Williams can reach great heights.

During an interview, Williams stated that he wants to evoke feelings of understanding, love, self-pride and hope in readers. This was accomplished with words like ‘Dreams flow away like rivers to the sea lost among the oceans of the world, but a glimmer of hope still exists at the horizon just at the point of the sunset.

Williams’ poems are able to captivate readers as they are extremely easy to relate to. In his poem ‘Father Failed Me’ the lines ‘prison record passed from father to son not hard work, commitment or patience lifelines of past generations but rash, harsh words scarring the soul, as the world turns’ are words that almost anyone can identify with or at least understand. There is a strong Caribbean theme in his poetry; poems like ‘The Wanderer’, ‘Dominica’, Father Failed me’ and ‘De Dominican Gift’ are a few very good examples of the evident Caribbean theme. Although his poems are pretty straight forward they are still profound and able to evoke thought.

One Room Shack Mr. Williams’ first published book is to be launched on the 26th of November at Tiffany’s in Canefield. His second book which is already completed is called Moods and Attitudes. Hopefully and perhaps, his sequential works will be even better than the first as he grows as a writer.

Noting that the poems are not very close to the standards of Shakespeare, Walcott or Yeats, Mr. Williams has a long way to go, as this is a far cry from transcendental poetry. However, just because his poetry cannot compete with the greats does not mean that Williams has not published good poetry. In fact, he should be highly commended for his publication as not many people are brave enough to find means whereby to publish their work and have it stand up to scrutiny.

Written by Tamika Jude and Nellie Jules

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