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Children of the Ash

ST. MARTIN, Caribbean (July 28, 2022)—It’s already being called a combustible poetry collection, Children of the Ash by N.C. Marks comes home to St. Vincent on Friday, July 29, 2022.

Children of the Ash by N.C. Marks. Book cover features digital photo art of author at La Soufrière foothills, with Owia Salt Pond in the background.

The new book by Marks, an SVG geography teacher, will launch in the Conference Room of Beachcombers Hotel, Villa Beach, at 5 pm – 7 pm, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi (HNP), the book’s publisher.

 Children of the Ash was the main booklaunched to an audience of over 100 guests at the 20th annual St. Martin Book Fair last June. “But there is nothing like coming home,” said Sample.

N.C. Marks reads from her new poetry book, Children of the Ash at the 20th anniversary of the St. Martin Book Fair 2022. (© CLF/HNP courtesy/I. Hodge)

Comments on SVG radio programs; the stream of requests to Marks and HNP about where to buy the book; social media posts referencing the book’s mysterious-looking cover and excerpts of poems like ‘Me Nar Go Back (To Red Zone)’ and ‘Minister of Everything,’ “suggest that Children of the Ash is a hotly anticipated title in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Lasana Sekou, HNP’s projects director.

Critical reviews are also driving interest in the 120-page poetry collection. The UK lecturer/researcher, Dr. Michael McMillan, calls Children of the Ash “An invaluable barometer of Vincentian society’s response to the volcanic eruption of the island’s mistress Soufrière in the 21st century.”

McMillan goes further. He dares to make a holy grail connection for the poet, better known for her dystopian novel Plastered in Pretty, by pointing out that, “Marks achieves what [Shake] Keane did for the same [SVG society] in the late 20th century.”

The University of Belize lecturer, Ubaldimir Guerra, is more succinct: “N.C. Marks’ collection combusts to bear witness to ‘rape culture,’ suppression and landscape destruction, and unearth a horizon of truths and hypocrisies often buried by the rubble and violence of dominant media narratives, corruption, abuse, and neoliberal agendas.”

Trouble in paradise poetics or well-crafted verse, the July 29 launch is a book party and Marks said that she wants all her people to enjoy the culture of good books and exciting poetry on Friday.

The invitation to Villa is a welcoming one (RSVP +1 (784) 526-5129), featuring a steelpan and kaiso performance, guest speaker Jomo Sanga Thomas, and the impeccable reception and ambiance hosted by Joche, said Shujah Reiph, Marks’ literary agent. Not to mention that all attention is certain to be on N.C. Marks, reading select poems from Children of the Ash.

In the coming days Children of the Ash will be available at Gaymes Book Centre in Kingstown. The book is available at Amazon/SPDbooks

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