I write for enjoyment. I write for posterity. I write to share. I write with the hope that others may find some aspect of my work appealing. I write because it unfolds a space where my creativity can flourish.
TOTO: Who are your poetic influences?
Marion Bethel, W.B. Yeats, Kamau Brathwaite, Obediah Michael Smith, D.H. Lawrence, Derek Walcott, Lelawatee Manoo-Rahming, Kwame Dawes, Seamus Heaney, Mark McWatt.
TOTO: Bahamian writer, Keith Russell, has said, writers “imaginatively examine the world that is, and story a world that can be”. Do you agree? What do you feel is the poet’s role in society?
We not only story a world that can be we also story a world that is. As writers, it is our duty to review, reinvent and record “all worlds”.
TOTO: Some people believe that poetry is an outdated art form, especially poetry written for the page, which has been supplanted by the spoken word. What is your view on this position?
Poetry written for the page has not been supplanted by the spoken word, in fact, there is space for both. Given the history of poetry written for the page it will never die; given the resurgence of writing in The Bahamas the possibilities and opportunities for innovation are endless.
TOTO: What do you dream for tomorrow?
My ultimate dream is for poetry to return to its former glory much like songs are today. My dream for tomorrow is for the continual growth of poetry i.e. more reading, more writing, more imagination, more appreciation.
•••A. Philip Armbrister is an Assistant Professor at The College of The Bahamas, and a Fulbright Scholar with research interests in sustainable development and Haitian Creole studies. Poetry is comforting, revealing and therapeutic. He uses it to express his creativity as it is revealed to him through people, objects, events, memory and imagination.