In this issue of sx salon four young editors and reviewers discuss the art of writing and editing book reviews. Raphael Dalleo, current book review editor for the journal Anthurium, writes about the vital links between book reviews and academic scholarship. Charmaine Valere, known to many as Signifyin Woman (of the Signifyin Guyana website), considers the tricky balance in blog reviewing, particularly in the immediacy and interactive nature of reviewing online. Douglas Field, former book review editor at Callalo, examines the impact of reviewing on James Baldwin’s career, highlighting the influence that reading and critiquing others’ writings can have on a young author’s work. Closing out the discussion we have Nicholas Laughlin, editor of the Caribbean Review of Books, exploring the importance of book reviews to not just writers but also the community they write for, in this case, a Caribbean community of readers.
Of course, we also have a fresh batch of reviews in this issue, all on nonfiction publications. We begin with a review of Caryl Phillips’s latest collection of essays, Color Me English: Migration and Belonging Before and After 9/11. In this issue we also carry part 1of an extended companion interview with Phillips about this new collection (part 2will run in our February 2012 issue). Our other nonfiction reviews are on academic texts: Kristina Huang reviews Jane Landers’s Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions; Toni Pressley-Sanon reviews Kate Ramsey’s The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti; and Kaiama L. Glover reviews Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism between Women in Caribbean Literature.
In addition to the interview with Caryl Phillips, we are pleased to publish an interview with Jan Carew in this issue. In this interview, Carew, now in the process of writing his memoirs, revisits his time in Prague and the Soviet Republic.
To balance our emphasis on nonfiction in this issue, we have new poems from Fred D’Aguiar, Kemar Cummings, Nicolette Bethel, Yannick Giovanni Marshall, and dub poet Malachi Smith (with an audio sample of Smith performing “Papine”). We are also happy to announce in this issue the winners of the 2011 Small Axe Literary Competition:
- In the Short Fiction category, first place went to Barbara Jenkins and second place to Heidi N. Holder.
- In the Poetry category, we had two first place winners: Sonia Farmer and Danielle McShine.
The announcement of the Short List for each section of the 2011 Small Axe Literary Competition can be found here.
We hope you enjoy the December issue of sx salon (table of contents below).
Kelly Baker Josephs
Table of Contents
Color Me English: Migration and Belonging Before and After 9/11 by Caryl Phillips—Bastian Balthazar Becker
Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions by Jane G. Landers—Kristina Huang
The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti by Kate Ramsey—Toni Pressley-Sanon
Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism Between Women in Caribbean Literature by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley—Kaiama L. Glover
Discussion – The Book Review
Sitting Down Together and Talking About a Little Scholarship—Raphael Dalleo
On Rants and Roundabout Reviews—Charmaine Valere
James Baldwin and the Art of Reviewing—Douglas Field
Understanding Ourselves—Nicholas Laughlin
“The Narrative Is Not Written in Stone”: A Conversation with Caryl Phillips, Part I
Bastian Balthazar Becker
Black Midas in Moscow—A Conversation with Jan Carew
Joy Gleason Carew