Poets and poetry in Guyana

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Dear Editor,

The September 7 Stabroek News headline, “Guyanese Literature Prize Returns After Six-Year Halt,” reminds me that I was counted among those who criticized this implementation. I always maintain my opinions already put forward in the media via the comments of the columnists.

I have in front of me on my desk 15 poems that I printed out with a cover page titled “To Ontario with Love”. What should I do next? What can I do next in this desert of despair for poets? If I self-publish, the quality will definitely be poor because I can’t afford to pay much and won’t ask for help to make fun of it. Do I have to submit my work in a new format, degrading it, to be judged for the Prix Guyane? How can I stoop to the point of participating in something to get cash rewards for my valuable poetry written to improve lives?

I remember when the Council for History and the Arts existed. This is where I had the opportunity to attend teaching sessions for writers. I remember the power of GUYFESTA when I received a certificate of achievement for a short story and was mentioned in the headlines of a local newspaper. I remember BIYA’s publications because children’s poems were published. I remember Wordsworth Mc Andrew reading two of my stories encouraging writers through the radio. I have to stop here.

Time dictates that my life is in its last phase and I know that I will leave this life with a sense of beyond that poets and poetry have been neglected in Guyana.

Sincerely,

Krishna Nand Prasad

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