Summer Camp Combines Poetry with Martial Arts

Photo: Contributed Director of Special Programmes at the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), Abigail Henry (left), with Poet Laureate, Lorna Goodison, at the ceremony of investiture, held on May 17, 2017 at King’s House.

Story Highlights

  • The National Library of Jamaica’s (NLJ) ‘All Flowers are Roses’ summer programme returns this year, with scores of girls from communities in Kingston to benefit from sessions in poetry and martial arts.
  • The free five-week programme was conceptualised by the NLJ’s Poet Laureate, Lorna Goodison, who has opted to focus on working with children during her tenure from 2017 to 2020.
  • The programme seeks to empower girls, helping them to develop their voices through motivational and self-affirming poetry, while teaching them personal safety and self-defence techniques.

The National Library of Jamaica’s (NLJ) ‘All Flowers are Roses’ summer programme returns this year, with scores of girls from communities in Kingston to benefit from sessions in poetry and martial arts.

The free five-week programme was conceptualised by the NLJ’s Poet Laureate, Lorna Goodison, who has opted to focus on working with children during her tenure from 2017 to 2020.

The programme seeks to empower girls, helping them to develop their voices through motivational and self-affirming poetry, while teaching them personal safety and self-defence techniques.

Director of Special Programmes at the NLJ, Abigail Henry, told JIS News that the initiative targets girls aged 11 to 14 from downtown Kingston communities, but welcomes all interested persons.

She noted that the inaugural staging in 2017 was a success, and “we are excited to do the programme again this year”.

“It is a unique and interesting fit. The combination of self-expression and martial arts is something that Ms. Goodison wanted to do since she assumed the office. The NLJ is very happy to give this combination a platform,” she noted.

“The girls who participated last year have demonstrated such self-confidence, and we are very proud of that, so we are looking forward to a very successful series again this year,” she added.

The classes commenced on Tuesday (July 17) at the Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) Junior Centre, 10 to 16 East Street, Kingston.

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., culminating with a special open day on August 16, where the participants will showcase what they learnt over the five weeks.

Joining the Poet Laureate for the series this year is dub poet and professional martial arts instructor, Cherry Natural.

The students will also benefit from the ‘A Fi Wi Culture’ project, which is aimed at promoting self-awareness and educating them about their cultural heritage. American-based Carradice Collection and Knowsy Kids in the United Kingdom are collaborating in Jamaica on the project.

The girls will also participate in a creative writing workshop as part of the Jamaica Poetry Festival to be held on August 12 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

To register for the programme, interested persons can contact the NLJ at: (876) 967-2494-6, email: nljsocial@gmail.com or visit the NLJ at 12 East Street.

The NLJ is an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

JIS Social