Country

Sainta-Lucia

General presentation:

Kendel Hippolyte was born in the town of Castries, Santa Lucia, in 1952. A graduate of the University of the West Indies, he is a poet, playwright and director, and has just retired from a long teaching career. He is also cofounder of one of the Caribbean’s best-known dramatic initiatives, The Lighthouse Theatre Company, and is the author of three plays and six collections of poems. His work has appeared in The Greenfield Review and The Massachusetts Review among others, as well as in such anthologies as Caribbean Poetry Now, Voiceprint, West Indian Poetry and The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse, and he has also published a number of anthologies himself, some of them intended for students of creative writing. He has taken part in several prestigious poetry workshops (including those held by Derek Walcott and Mervyn Morris) as well as leading some of his own. Kendel writes both in English and in Creole and his poetry is influenced by rap and reggae – he was to be found on-stage at L’Artchipel in Guadeloupe in February 2010, on the occasion of a special Dub Poetry evening. As a poet, he works to open up his readers’ minds and tries to contribute to finding solutions to the problems besetting Caribbean society. His latest and highly successful work, Fault Lines, is a description of what life might be like on a little island tainted by the perverse effects of capitalism in crisis and globalisation, set against a background of neo-colonialism. He is regarded as one of the major Caribbean poets of his generation.

Select bibliography

Poetry

  • Fault Lines. Peepal Tree Press, 2012.
  • Night vision. Triquarterly Books, 2006.
  • Birthright. Peepal Tree Press Ltd, 1997.
  • The Labyrinth. The Source, 1991.
  • Bearings. 1986.
  • Island in the Sun - Side Two. V.W.I. Extra Mural Department, 1980.

Plays

  • Triptych. 2000.
  • The Song of One. 1995.
  • The Drum-Maker. 1976.

 

Anthologies

  • So Much Poetry in We People. Eastern Caribbean Popular Theatre Organization, 1990.
  • Confluence: Nine St.Lucian Poets. The Source, 1988.
  • This Poem-Worthy Place (on poetry from Bermuda).

Prizes and disctintinctions

2000: Santa Lucia National Medal of Merit, for his contribution to development of the Arts.

Three-time winner of the Minvielle & Chastanet Fine Arts Awards Literary Prize, one of Santa Lucia’s most prestigious arts prizes.

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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