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Researcher @ Independent


Loraine Thomas completed her PhD in Caribbean Literature at Anglia Ruskin University in 2021. Her research interests include the literature of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the lead up to national independence, Caribbean literary archives, Vincentian Creole, and Caribbean women’s writing.

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Publishing in the Caribbean


Writing from the Left - A Vincentian Perspective

This paper traces the contours of the Vincentian literary landscape during the 1970s (when the island was on the cusp of attaining independence from Great Britain) and the initial post-independence era. Although GCH Thomas had already published Ruler in Hiroona in 1972 – the first and only novel published during the era of independence – my attention turns to the dominant literary modes of poetry and, in particular, the short story. The paper will discuss both the prevalence and power of the so called ‘little magazines’, which were instrumental in launching the careers of many Caribbean writers, as well as in establishing the foundations of a wider, regional literary tradition. First, it offers an original literary history of St Vincent’s literary publications such as Flambeau (1965-68), Forum (1970-c.1972), N.A.M. Speaks (1973-1979) and Youth! (1978-c.1982). Secondly, the paper employs more targeted textual analysis to argue that, even at the ostensible periphery, the Black Power movement as well as radical Marxist black politics influenced the themes on which writers focused. Thirdly, it highlights the importance of youth voices, at a time when the vast numbers of young people who lived on the islands became more politically aware and sought to add their perspective to debates surrounding independence.

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