Literature Alive – Season 1

Christopher Laird | Canada / Trinidad & Tobago | 13 Episodes | 25min/episode | 2005



Literature Alive is a 20-episode series (Seasons 1 & 2) that profile Caribbean-Canadian authors.


  Episode 1 - Andre Alexis: Memory Places
We travel with Alexis from his birthplace in Trinidad, to Ottawa where he spent his childhood, and finally to the Toronto neighborhood he now calls home.

  Episode 2 - Shani Mootoo: My Dinner with Shani
Her work and themes resonate with influences from her real-life experiences and her constant battle to realize an ever-elusive identity.

  Episode 3 - Tessa McWatt: Home/strong>
Work expresses her diverse multi-ethnic Caribbean and Canadian heritage, while also speaking to post-colonial, identity and migration issues.

  Episode 4 - Dwayne Morgan: The Man behind the Mic
His Spoken Word performance style is heavily influenced by Hip Hop. He is straightforward, dynamic and thought provoking in exploring social issues.

  Episode 5 - Dany Laferrière: Un Homme dans sa ville
His bold, innovative thinking stimulates critical discourse about Diasporic identity, challenges historical concepts and shifts traditional patterns of thought.

  Episode 6 - Richardo Keens-Douglas: Believe
He is one of Canada's best known names in storytelling circles, as well as in literature and art. He is also recognized for his work as an actor, playwright, television and radio host.

  Episode 7 - D'bi Young: Blood, Dub and the Matriarch
Her performance art infuses reggae with hip hop, blues, punk, a dash of jazz, folk and funk, of which her Jamaican heritage shines through onstage.

  Episode 8 - Nalo Hopkinson: Fabulous Spaces
Her feminist, science fiction themes clearly link to Caribbean folktales that derive from Aboriginal, African, European, Asian and South Asian histories and mythology.

  Episode 9 - Jemeni (Joanne Gairy): Jemeni in the City
Love of the oral tradition, and her broad experience as a poet, spoken-word artist, writer, mentor, public speaker, hip-hop artist, and radio host made her a successful performance artist.

  Episode 10 - M. Nourbese Philip: Word Hammers
She is a poet, novelist, and former lawyer. Not one to sit still, she takes on a power walk through the park with her friend, Dr. Patricia Saunders, and explores her use of language as a weapon.

  Episode 11 - Olive Senior: Gardening with Olive
Her work explores moral issues; for example, the environmental crisis brought on by single-crop agriculture and deforestation. Yet, she handles her subjects with subtle irony, humour and a relaxed tone.

  Episode 12 - Pam Mordecai: Her True-True Name
Her writings contain a wide range of themes: Her poetry collections make vital links between Canada and Jamaica. Familial histories, school and community, exile and migration, and Jamaican rural culture.

  Episode 13 - Louise Bennett: Miss Lou Then and Now
Miss Lou's unique reputation is based her body of literature using Jamaican nation language. She has produced her poetry, drama, comedic performance and Jamaican folklore the world over.