In her 70s she completed her doctorate (so that's Dr. Jean Small to you). This is after a lifetime of having been a teacher of French and theatre, having been a playwright, having been an actress. Now in her 80s, she has just published two books, one a collection of poetry and the other of short stories. Today October 29 there was a launch at the Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies. This is what Carolyn Allen had to say about the poetry collection:
"This is a collection of 16 poems—varied in length and style. They are announced as “poems of loss” and indeed the central theme weaving its way through them is the pain we suffer when separated from loved ones, most poignantly by death in the title poem, in “Lament”, “Car Crash” and “If Only Bob Could Sing” We find the recurring image of a hole, a symbol of the emotion,the emptiness one feels. But there is nothing blank or monotone in these poems There is range in approach and subject. The loss depicted also comes from the separation of divorce and desertion, the deep disappointment of the end of a love affair. Big ooman tings. And we feel it because of the fundamental honesty of the emotions expressed."
The poems and stories, through the range of themes and settings, are good reads for those interested in understanding and appreciating Jamaican life. Much of what is depicted about Jamaica in literature and film deals with gangs and criminals. This is not that. These works show people in all walks of life, in varying circumstances. Additionally, given that they're drawn from Jean's own life and encounters, they reflect an honest picture.
To order Revelations, the collection of short stories, click here
For information about purchasing the poetry collection, Send Me No Flowers, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org