Six-Word Stories / ed. sonia farmer

“Not what I pictured.” Columbus said.
Christi Cartwright, The Bahamas

Sun, sand, sea! Sunblock, lawn, pool?
Barbara Jenkins, Trinidad and Tobago

Dutty Mas. Pretty Mas. Holy Mass.
Amanda Lewis, Trinidad and Tobago

Allowed tuh kiss she white gran’son.
Thomas Armstrong, Barbados/Canada

You badmind! The boys just friends.
Vahni Capildeo, Trinidad and Tobago/UK

Has as many men as shoes.
Obediah Michael Smith, The Bahamas

Housewife wins lottery. Files for divorce.
Vashti Bowlah, Trinidad and Tobago

Mom died. Kevin died. Daddy died.
Obediah Michael Smith, The Bahamas

Status lost; won’t marry for salvation.
Renatta Laundry, Guyana

De spider wet; cyah get home
Michelle Isava, Venezuela/Trinidad and Tobago

Home is where the monsters are.
Jaime Lee Loy, Trinidad and Tobago

Tossed in storms. Woke in paradise.
DaMaris Hill, Bermuda

•••

From the Editor, Sonia Farmer:

Writers constantly challenge themselves to say the most they can in the briefest of sentences. There have been entire contests devoted to stories told in just six words, entire anthologies of six-word memoirs or six word stories from individual groups of people. These stories are tiny testaments to the individual, fleeting human experience. Now, it is our turn.

The title is part of a quote from Christopher Columbus upon “discovering” the people in new world of the Caribbean islands – “If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highness when I depart, in order that they may learn our language.” Now, we turn this phrase on its head; we take back the history of our language.

By gathering together brief, beautiful stories in different voices and even in different languages, each story becomes a piece of a larger, complex, fragmented identity of what it means to “be Caribbean” and “live an island life.”

More here.

•••

Six-Word Bios:

Christi Cartwright lives and writes in the Bahamas. She was a 2010 Callaloo Writers Workshop scholarship recipient and a finalist in the Summer Literary Seminar 2010 fiction competition.

Barbara Jenkins hails from Trinidad and Tobago. She is an almost sixty-nine year old MFA student at the University of West Indies.

 

Amanda Lewis was born in Trinidad to a Trinidadian mother and a Tobagonian Father (the true meaning of a Trinbagonian), and raised in The Bahamas from the age of three.

 

Thomas Armstrong is a Canadian/Barbadian writer. His novel Of Water and Rock was recently published by DC Books of Montreal.

 

Vahni Capildeo (Trinidad; UK) is a Contributing Editor for the Caribbean Review of Books, a co-editor of the public arts initiative TOWN, and a Contributing Advisor for Black Box Manifold.

Vashti Bowlah is an award-winning Trinidadian writer whose work has appeared in local, regional and international publications.

Obediah Michael Smith was born on New Providence, in the Bahamas, in 1954 and has published 13 books of poetry.

Renatta Laundry is a Guyanese writer who is passionate about Capoeira, hoarding good memories and writing about them and their opposing bits.

Michelle Isava is a first generation Venezuelan immigrant to Trinidad and Tobago. In 2009 she completed her B.A. in Visual Arts at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Jaime Lee Loy is a contemporary artist and writer from Trinidad and Tobago.

DaMaris Hill is a creative writer and graduate student at the University of Kansas. Her story On the Other Side of Heaven – 1957 won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Award for Short Fiction.

3 comments

  1. Reply

    Having now had the advantage of reading the entire production, I am left to say Bravo!

    The means, media and the message opens upon a field of flowers, showing the work of gardeners whose capacity for cultivated literary arrangements the world should know.

    Gilbert NMO Morris

  2. Reply

    wow, fascinating to see them together like this. of course i like the one about the lottery-winning housewife the best! makes me think of the gloria steinhem quote: “most women are one man away from welfare.” some good truth-telling here.

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