Issue 125
( January/February 2014 )

In this Issue:


Caribbean bookshelf (January/February 2014)

This month’s reading picks

Photograph by Aaron Richards

Caribbean datebook (January/February 2014)

Your guide to Caribbean events in January and February — from Carnival celebrations to literature festivals

Word of mouth (January/February 2014)

Discover Trinidad’s marathon fete season, Three Kings Day in Puerto Rico, and the Mustique Blues Festival

It starts with a cookie

There are people who don’t like to eat in public — a problem Anu Lakhan doesn’t share

Caribbean playlist (January/February 2014)

A roundup of potential Carnival hits


Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne. Photograph by Marlon James

Shakirah Bourne: “If we don’t tell our stories, who will?”

Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne on “holding up a literary mirror” to society — as told to Michelle Springer

Kei Miller. Photograph by Georgia Popplewell

Kei Miller: “On this island things fidget”

Two poems by Kei Miller, from his forthcoming book The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion

One for the road: Trinidad & Tobago’s biggest road march hits

For Trinidadian musicians, there’s no bigger prize than the annual Road March title. Garry Steckles looks back at the songs that have made Road March history

Neila Ebanks performing at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Photograph by Tanya Batson-Savage

Neila Ebanks: no boundaries

For Jamaican Neila Ebanks, dance is a vehicle for expressing freedom. Tanya Batson-Savage talks to the celebrated dancer and choreographer about her joy in crossing physical boundaries

A young masquerader portrays a Fireman, a version of traditional sailor mas. Photograph by Maria Nunes

Trinidad Carnival: back to the future

Traditional mas connects Trinidad Carnival to its historical roots. But can characters like the Midnight Robber, Dame Lorraine, Jab Jab, and Blue Devil survive as the festival evolves? Tracy Assing, Aurora Herrera, Mark Lyndersay, and Skye Hernandez meet four young masqueraders whose answer is yes


Robert Young: Carnival in the belly

For designer Robert Young, leader of the “misfit” mas band Vulgar Fraction, the best way to navigate Port of Spain at Carnival time is by following one’s appetites. As told to Zahra Gordon

One year in Bangkok

Thailand is half a world away from Svenn Miki Grant’s home in Trinidad. But little moments of connection make a strange place feel familiar

Peak conditions: taking on the Caribbean’s mountain ranges

The Caribbean is a region of hills and mountains, not just beaches and bays. Maria Sebastian tackles the double challenge of St Lucia’s Pitons, and Janelle Chanona braves the rigours of Belize’s Victoria Peak. Plus vertical adventures in Cuba, Guyana, Dominica, and Trinidad

Mountains of memory: Jamaica’s Cockpit Country

Centuries after the Maroon wars that shaped its history, Jamaica’s Cockpit Country remains as mysterious as it is beautiful. Michael Robinson traverses this landscape of hills and forest, and finds its inhabitants are proud of their connections to the past


Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

The shot at the mercy gate

Juan Pablo Duarte’s progressive vision for the Dominican Republic sparked the February 1844 insurrection. But, as James Ferguson recounts, it was quickly thwarted by the forces of history

Photograph by Michael Rolands/

Get a grip

Try your head for heights on the dazzling cliffs of western Jamaica

Photograph by Isabelle Kuehn/

Keys to the coral kingdom: protecting Caribbean reefs

The Caribbean’s coral reefs are ecological treaures and economic assets — but they’re also in danger. Nazma Muller learns about a project in Bonaire aimed at restoring these underwater wonders

A library of their own: Grenada’s Mt Zion project

When Grenada’s public library was forced to close, a group of volunteers decided young readers should still have access to books. Erline Andrews learns about the Mt Zion library project

Renée “Buttaz” Edwards. Photograph courtesy Brass.Angel.Photography

Need for speed: Renée “Buttaz” Edwards and Lisa “Lisalis” Abraham

Drag racing — in which two drivers compete to take their souped-up cars the faster over a short course — is usually a testosterone-fuelled sport. But two Antiguan women drivers are proving that when it comes to reflexes and pure automotive speed, gender is no barrier. Joanne C. Hillhouse finds out more