All This is Love: A Collection of Virgin Islands Poetry, Art Prose is a poignant reminder of the reservoir of artistic talent constantly percolating in the Virgin Islands. The contributors, each an accomplished artist in her or his own right, have brought a plethora of personal experiences and insight gleaned from individual journeys. Yet these stories, poetic entries, and artwork often recount, retell, and recapture the essence of Virgin Islands and West Indian narratives. Thematically and stylistically variant, the works by Elaine Warren Jacobs, Daisy Holder Lafond, Hilda Lewis Joyce, Jeanne O?Day and Tregenza A. Roach carve out their own paths; but in the process encourage the readers to re-imagine ourselves in relationship to our cultures, traditions, histories and each other. In point of fact, the construction of personal and national identities is not done for ideological exploitation, but rather emerges as the authors maneuver through a series of self-interrogation, reflection, and testimonies. At the center of this work is a clear allegiance and respect for the oral tradition, and an unabashed will to preserve and promote it. This is a timely collection with its rich cultural-traditional-personal tapestry that is fraught with introspection and interpretation of individual and collective realities contextualized in the vibrant West Indian landscape. But, fortunately for the reader, this is a work that blends a series of literary devices that make the negotiating of this text a welcome endeavor. All This is Love is aptly entitled, motivated as it were by a sincere love of the art of oral elaboration, of telling; guided by a passionate love of traditions, cultures, and histories and sealed and delivered by an even more abiding love for the Virgin Islands and humanity itself.
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June 01, 2009
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