Sunday, March 20, 2011

The book-signing at the T&T Consulate General's office in New York was two nights ago and yet my spirits remains buoyed by the camaraderie and sense of community the event fostered.

Everyone agrees it was a roaring success: It gave me a chance to share my Sticky Wicket book series, and Glenroy Chapman the chance to display his beautiful photos of our homeland.

This was certainly not something we could have pulled off by ourselves. So, where do I begin with my thanks?

First, I would like to heap a generous load of gratitude on the Consulate's staff. They provide an invaluable service in keeping Trinidadian culture alive in the United States. If anyone from Trinidad and Tobago is reading this, know that you have a capable team of men and women representing your interests at home, and supporting the Trinidadian community abroad.

I have to single out Consul Nireen Jasper, whom I learned is a budding cricket aficionado, for serving as a gracious host, and her assistant Errolyn Chariah-Mars, for her help in the weeks leading up to the event. Ms. Chariah-Mars provided guidance in everything, from sending out promotional fliers to offering menu suggestions.

We also want to thank the Caribbean media that came out to give us coverage. They include Glenville Ashby, the New York correspondent for the Trinidad Guardian - the news publication where I began my own journalism career; veteran photographer Donovan Gopie of Caribbean Life and other publications; Hakim Muttaq of New Harlem Renaissance Photographers; and the archivists at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

I also have to mention those media professionals who provided pre-event coverage, including veteran beat writer Jared McCallister of the New York Daily News, Rennie Bishop of WWRL radio, Ian Forrest of WBAI radio, the staff at One Caribbean Radio, and the editors at Carib News and Caribbean Life.

It was very gratifying to look out into the crowd during Friday night's event and see the young and the senior members of the Caribbean community gathered with the wider New York and New Jersey arts community that came out to support Glenroy and me with their presence - and of course, their purchases of my books and Glenroy's photographs.

You all make me proud to call myself a Trinidadian.

Ewart Rouse, author of the Sticky Wicket cricket series.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011