Walking the Streets of eternity with a Guyanese great
IN THE early 1960s, the new university in Georgetown, Guyana, asked the Guyanese writer Jan Carew (1920-2012), then living in London, to help them stock their library.
With a cheque for £16,000 to spend but with no idea where to start, Carew contacted comrades in the Communist Party who helped him select the books and ship them out to Guyana.
It’s a tantalising story, told almost as an aside in Carew’s posthumously published Episodes From My Life (Peepal Tree, £19.99).
Jan Carew Double Book Launch, London (UK), 26 November 2015, for poetry collection, Return to Streets of Eternity (Smokestack Books, 2015) and memoir Episodes in My Life: The Autobiography of Jan Carew (Peepal Tree Press 2015). Joy Gleason Carew, center, with Margaret Busby, Burt Caesar and Luke Daniels. Further details on Jan Carew books and projects can be found at: www.jancarew.com. Photo courtesy of Margaret Busby
A great evening and chance to meet Joy Carew, who gave the background to Episodes in my Life the autobiography of Jan Carew. I will treasure my signed copy. It was wonderful to hear Jan Carew’s voice, reading one of his poems, as well as his talk on Black Seminoles. Also to hear a couple of his poems read – just great. His book on poetry – Return to Eternity; novels Black Midas and The Wild Coast are now part of my bookshelf and will be passed onto my niece, the next generation. Thanks again.
GoldenShadeofBlue – Facebook
Book Launch will be held at: Claudia Jones Organisation,
103 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8BX (United Kingdom)
Thursday 26 November, 7pm
speakers Joy Gleason Carew and Chris Searle
Episodes in My Life tells the story of the multiple lives of this extraordinary writer, activist and revolutionary, godfather of Black Studies in the US, theoretician of the Columbian origins of racism in the Americas and the personal advisor to several heads of government, including Cheddi Jagan, Kwame Nkrumah and Michael Manley. His books include Black Midas, The Last Barbarian and The Guyanese Wanderer. He reported from inside Cuba during the Missile Crisis, was working in Ghana during the 1966 coup, and lived in revolutionary Grenada.
Return to Streets of Eternity brings together, for the first time, poems written during a life-time of passionate engagement in anti-colonial, civil rights, black power and liberation movements, including many previously unpublished tributes to nineteenth and twentieth-century revolutionary leaders and writers.
Episodes in My Life: The Autobiography of Jan Carew
(Peepal Tree, £19.99)
Return to Streets of Eternity (Smokestack Books, £9.95)