The Saint Lucia Writers Forum holds its fifth edition of the Laureates chair. The event which is held every last Tuesday of the month at the Castries Central Library is the Forum’s perennial way of celebrating the achievement of Honourable Derek Walcott. The writers featured thus far have been Adrian Augier, Kendel Hippolyte, Sharon Trezelle and Modeste Downes.
This month the Forum features its first regional writer, Mr Frank Gilkes of Barbados. Gilkes is no stranger to the island as he is often here to celebrate Jounen Kweyol with with his Saint Lucian wife. Mr Gilkes is the co-author of Images Of A Caribbean Dream and a contributor to the anthology, From Rampus To Tenerife, which will be available for purchase at the event for only $10.
Frank Gilkes is a poet, artist, actor, pan-africanist and cultural activist born on the island of Barbados.
Frank has achieved several national awards for his writing over the years and is a regular at poetry readings in his homeland.
His work has been published in two major anthologies. ‘From Rampus to Tenerife’ 2001, Barbados and ‘Images of a Caribbean Dream’ 1999, Trinidad and Tobago. Frank has also had poems published in such regional literary magazines as ‘Bim’ of Barbados and ‘New Voices’ of Trinidad. He has done readings in Grenada and Trinidad and was featured several times on Barbadian television and radio stations.
Frank has judged many local school poetry competitions as well as talent shows across Barbados and continues to lend support to the development of creative writing among the young writers. A founding member of ‘The Association of Literary Artist’ and ‘The Barbados Creative Writers Guild’ he helped to developed ‘across the island rum shop poetry readings’, where poets would meet at various rum shops mostly on a Saturday evenings and read their work to the patrons there. These readings became very popular in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
Frank Gilkes is presently employed with the Barbados Postal Service and upon retirement is looking forward to dedicating some of his time to helping nurture and encourage the love for poetic expression, not only in his native Barbados but throughout the region.
Frank is married to a beautiful daughter of St Lucia and he is a regular visitor to the breathtaking Helen of the west having not only fallen in love with the beautiful lady from St Lucia but also the beautiful lady that is St Lucia.