Stephen Narain

"Break a vase," Walcott says, "and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. The glue that fits the pieces is the sealing of its original shape. It is such a love that reassembles our African and Asiatic fragments, the cracked heirlooms whose restoration shows its white scars. This gathering of broken pieces is the care and pain of the Antilles, and if the pieces are disparate, ill-fitting, they contain more pain than their original sculpture, those icons and sacred vessels taken for granted in their ancestral places. Antillean art is this restoration of our shattered histories, our shards of vocabulary, our archipelago becoming a synonym for pieces broken off from the original continent. And this is the exact process of the making of poetry, or what should be called not its ‘making’ but its remaking, the fragmented memory…"
1. Do one thing at a time.
2. Do it slowly and deliberately.
3. Do it completely.
4. Do less.
5. Put space between things.
6. Develop rituals.
7. Designate time for certain things.
8. Devote time to sitting.
9. Smile and serve others.
10. Make cleaning and cooking become a meditation.
11. Think about what is necessary.
12. Live simply.
Zen Principles
Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we—I mean all human beings—are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.
Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Zeba Khan, and Maajid Nawaz debate: Is Islam a Religion of Peace?



"I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan


Photo: Carib Torch

"The men’s team did win that relay finals, and they won it by what seemed to be an actual rather than a metaphoric ‘clear mile.’" That is a fact. But what cannot ever be adequately described is what the victory unleashed in Trafalgar Square re-imagined as Half-Way-Tree re-imagined as Beijing. It was as if a plane from England had landed in Jamaica. No. It was as if a thousand such planes had landed. First, of course, there was clapping, then shouting, escalating into screaming, into jumping, into waving and the lifting of hands, into fainting, into hugging, into tears. And then something extraordinary—these thousands of Jamaicans, weeping, began to sing their national anthem. In a most fantastic moment of transnational imagination, they imposed upon Trafalgar Square, the anthem of another country. How strange that was—to look down on the concrete squares of England, and declare to it three times, as if in a spell, as if unlocking a magic that would make their declarations real, would turn the landscape into Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love.”

—Kei Miller, "Imagining Nations," Writing Down the Vision: Essays & Prophecies

Condé Naste profiles bronze artist Pete Johnston, proprietor of Pete’s Pub and Gallery in Little Harbour, Abaco.  

Nicole Krauss on the architecture of her novels.


Image: Janine Antoni, Touch, Hoyes Arte

In the November 2013 issue of the Caribbean Review of Books, Nicholas Laughlin reviews Into the Mix, an exhibit of ten artists that ran at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft from February to April 2012. On the artist’s—and citizen’s—search for balance, Laughlin writes:

"Art is always a high-wire act, with no safety net. The artist must find a point of equilibrium between ideas and materials, ambitions and limits, creative autonomy and the expectations of audiences, private intentions and public communication. And, as Touch makes obvious, balance is a process, not a state. It means holding steady a centre of gravity: a negotiation among mass and momentum and energy. On this depends stability and mobility. The tightrope walker keeps moving, or else she falls, and her successful journey is an ongoing compromise between her own mass, tension in the wire, and universal gravity.”

Toni Morrison on Home, war, memory, and masculinity.


Image: Tiphanie Yanique

Happy to be reading at the Harlem Book Fair World Fiction Festival with A. Naomi Jackson and Tiphanie Yanique in a panel moderated by NGC Bocas Lit Fest organizer Nicholas Laughlin. The event will be held at Columbia University on Friday, July 11 at 1:30PM. Tiphanie is launching her novel, Land of Love and Drowning, the night before at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn. The novel is already receiving rave reviews.

The inimitable Lupita Nyong’o on braiding her friends’ hair. She graces the cover of the July issue of Vogue.