Caribbean Poetry, Caribbean Region, Commentary on Caribbean Political & Economic Development, Poem “A Report to the Academy: The Modern Caribbean” by Raymond Ramcharitar, Poetry Collection Modern Age &c (2020) by Raymond Ramcharitar, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidadian Poet Raymond Ramcharitar
My Poetry Corner November 2021 features Part 1 from the four-part, long poem “A Report to the Academy: The Modern Caribbean” from the poetry collection, Modern, Age, &c, by the Caribbean journalist, poet, and cultural critic Raymond Ramcharitar. Born in Trinidad, he studied at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics (1991), Masters in Literature in English (2002), and Doctorate in Cultural History (2007).
After completing his doctorate, Ramcharitar received three overseas fellowships: Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Warwick University, UK (2008); Visiting Scholar at New College, University of Toronto, Canada (2010); and Poetry Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA (2011). He currently lives in Trinidad where he is a communications consultant for the ANSA McAL Group of Companies.
In speaking of his third poetry collection, Modern, Age, &c (Peepal Tree Press, UK, 2020), the poet said that he balanced the book among three themes: political (Modern), personal (Age), and the whimsical (&c). The tone varies from sardonic, to satiric, to lyrical.
“Modern is about the malaise: the diseases of our time: depression, anxiety, isolation—The broader themes of loss, disintegration,” the poet said. As he recently turned fifty, Age is his way to examine the shredding of the social contract. “I started to look back to find the threads that hold me together, as a parent, a man,” he said. “And try to find where everything changed: the plan for utopia, or progress, when did it become a tweet, or post on Facebook or Instagram?”Continue reading