waves and murmurs june 2011

Editorials are for sissies.

That’s why I haven’t been writing them.

I figure that now the journal’s up and running, the writing can speak for itself.

I have also been otherwise engaged, living life (which includes burying people too close to one to be comfortably buried) and trying to tread water in oceans that are not always tranquil.

Let us just say that toto (as people have taken to calling tongues of the ocean) has been reaching further and further, gaining a little bit of a reputation among Caribbean literary journals, and attracting the most interesting and exciting submissions from around the world.

You’ll see some of them in this issue: spoken word from Paula Obè, whose approach to the practice is fun and different from the dub/hip-hop-inspired fare that often appears at slams and other spoken word venues. She’s got her own acoustic accompaniment and matches the music to the content in cool and unusual ways. (Not that the traditional is at all lacking, but it’s fun to listen to departures from the norm). There’s also new work from Trinidad and Tobago: from Shivanee Ramlochan, whose two pieces grip one viscerally, and Danielle McShine, who’s writing from exile. We’re also pleased to feature a new Bahamian writer, Ernestia Fraser, and work from Jamaican Marcel Logan and Belizean Andre Marsden.

Our featured writer is Trini transplant Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming, who, as she says, is Trinidadian East Indian by culture, but a literary Bahamian; she started her writing career as a means of making sense of her displacement, of her strangeness in the unfamiliar familiarity of The Bahamas. Her writing seeks to tie the two ends of the Caribbean together, and her career is an example of what happens when that attempt succeeds.

So enjoy. This is our ocean; these are our tongues.


Nicolette Bethel
June-September 2011


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