Sunday May 23, 2021
3pm - 4pm
Natalie Corthésy is a Jamaican poet and the 2020 Winner of The Caribbean Writer’s Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for a new or emerging writer for “The Helper Experiment” published in The Caribbean Writer Volume 34 under the theme, Dignity, Power and Place in the Caribbean Space.
She is also the recipient of many awards in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s National Festival of the Arts Creative Writing Competition.
Natalie’s work has been published in the Daily Gleaner, The Carimac Times, We Are Goodenough Magazine, Interviewing the Caribbean and The Caribbean Writer.
She is a Calabash International Literary Festival Poetry Workshop fellow and a contributor to the anthology: So Much Things to Say 100 Poets from the First Ten Years of the Calabash International Literary Festival, edited by Kwame Dawes and Colin Channer, Akashic Books, (2010).
Sky Juice is Natalie’s second book of poems after her debut collection Fried Green Plantains, Nasara Publishing, (2017).
Natalie lives and works in Kingston as a Lecturer at The University of the West Indies, Mona.
Inspired by her birthplace, Jamaica, the author has assembled a diverse collection poems that recounts familiar stories with a distinctive feminine voice. The title Sky Juice entreats the reader to recall a most treasured delight enjoyed by Jamaican children on hot days, which is every day! The imagery of a push cart vendor, peddling ice and syrup in a plastic bag to a school girl, eager to relish the sweet sip. The narrative is a reminder that telling our own stories is priceless. Evocative cultural memoires from Jamaica’s yesteryear and witty call and answer between the vendor and the school girl personas provoke ire and laughter. The musings that follow are whimsical descriptions of loved ones and love lost. The denouement is picturesque and sincere.
“In these carefully crafted poems, which wittily acknowledge Jamaican privilege and celebrate our popular culture, feminine identity is a central concern. The persona, identified as ‘a browning’, is recalling childhood and later events; reviewing dreams, desire, disappointment, sex and love. Sky Juice is distinctive work, an attractive collection” – Professor Mervyn Morris, former Poet Laureate of Jamaica
“The gaze of these poems are both internal as well as external, sharp as razors; they explore slavery and the colonial legacy, bruises and desires of women, as well as give voice to those iconic characters we encounter on the streets of Jamaica. Natalie Corthésy gifts us the entire tapestry.” Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, founder & editor of Interviewing the Caribbean.
WELCOME and Introduction of Panelists
Christine Randle, Ian Randle Publishers
Opal Palmer Adisa - Launch Address
fabian m thomas
"Sundress" and "Up"
Poetry + Voice by Natalie Corthésy
Movement + Direction + Videography + Editing by
Technical assistance and administrative support
Poet and Launch Presenter https://www.opalpalmeradisa.com
Poet and Panelist
Poet and Panelist
Dancer and Panelist
Visit www.chillcreate.com to view the exhilarating contemporary work of this stand out graphic designer from Brixton England
Visit www.williamrichardsphotography.com to view iconic images and videos of notable Jamaican personalities and artistes captured by this talented photographer from Kingston Jamaica
A free man can
see you in his sun burnt ancestors
yet he does not know his kin,
the names of the slaves that boarded the vessels,
nor the legend of their King.
A free woman can
feel you in her tightly knotted cane rows
but she does not know her tribe,
the rituals for babies born in drought
nor the courtship dance for a young bride.
Somehow, I have known you all my life
because the spirits followed me
through the middle passage, from a watery grave
unto island shores. I rise up
in a New World, free, yet still a slave.
But Mother knows best.
The Windrush that anchored me in Brixton
capsized innumerable souls with my own.
This village crippled folkways
silenced the kalimba lilt of colourful voices into a dull monotone.
I walk past generations
firing up Electric Lane with gritty cultural fare
but shops no longer sell that brand of happiness here.
I want to belong, to go home and come back.
But there is no refuge from being born black.
Sky Juice is published by Ian Randle Publishers. Copies of Sky Juice may be purchased from Ian Randle Publishers Kingston or online at