The public is invited to celebrate the launch of 6 Poems / 6 Poèmes / 6 Poemas by Lasana M. Sekou on Saturday, February 4. The launch and free give-away of the new book will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter from 9 am to 12 noon.
The author, St. Martin poet and writer Lasana M. Sekou, will be present to sign copies of 6 Poems, and light refreshments will be served for all to enjoy, said the Les Fruits de Mer association, publisher of the book. The launch event is part of the 32nd annual Black History Celebration organized island-wide by Conscious Lyrics Foundation.
The book presents six poems by Sekou in three languages: English, French and Spanish. It was created by Sekou and Les Fruits de Mer for distribution to students, schools, and the public. The internationally renowned author has published over 20 books, said Les Fruits de Mer. St. Martin and its people are often the focus of his writing.
“For the last 40 years, Sekou’s poetry has been a vital expression of St. Martin culture and identity. It was a privilege to develop 6 Poems together to help make his work accessible to more people, especially youth,” said Mark Yokoyama, editor at Les Fruits de Mer.
“We selected poems with themes of the island’s past and present, its traditions, elders, art, and spirit. We chose to present them in French and Spanish, as well as the original English, to make them more available to more people here. And we will be giving hundreds of copies to schools and students,” said Yokoyama, who is also an author.
The slim volume includes new translations by Alex Richards, Fabian Adekunle Badejo, and Jocelyne Illidge. A new exhibit in the Amuseum’s poetry garden will be unveiled at the launch event, featuring the poems from the book in three languages.
“6 Poems is an outcome of the St. Martin literature panels and poetry in the park exhibits that Mark Yokoyama, Jenn Yerkes, and Les Fruits de Mer have initiated at Amuseum Naturalis. The association is known for its fascinating books for children and adults about St. Martin’s wildlife from the land, air, and sea,” said Sekou.
“It’s an honor to be one of the writers with work being made visible to young people, parents, teachers, visitors, all who visit the museum. With 6 Poems some of that writing can be taken home and into classrooms and media centers of schools throughout our island,” said Sekou.
The 6 Poems collection is also available as a free download from lesfruitsdemer.com, and for purchase on amazon.com worldwide. Teachers and youth group leaders interested in copies are encouraged to contact Les Fruits de Mer at [email protected]. Companies, organizations, or individuals interested in sponsoring copies for schools are encouraged to contact the association, said Yokoyama.
Free printed copies of 6 Poems by Lasana M. Sekou will be given to St. Martin schools as part of Les Fruits de Mer’s book give-away program, said Yokoyama. This project was funded by the Collectivité de Saint-Martin through Vie Associative. Permission to publish the poems in this volume was granted by House of Nehesi Publishers and Sekou.