Beautiful women, fast running men and women — the islands of the Caribbean have them but Caribbean writers and poets — we very seldom hear of them. Ask Caribbean people to name a few poets from their islands and there is some hesitancy. What about Miss Lou – the late Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, Jamaican Cultural Ambassador, Barbados’ Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Guyana’s Ken Corsbie, Trinidad’s Paul Keens-Douglas.
Paul Keens-Douglas was born in Trinidad and grew up in Grenada. He has been writing and performing since 1974. He found his niche in storytelling when Louise Bennett gave workshops around the Caribbean and encouraged everyone to not only write poems in standard English but to write in their dialect. Paul took up the challenge and has delighted audiences over the years with his poems and short stories —Tanti at de Oval, Tanti and de Renovations, Tim Tim, Lal Shop, Choir Practice, to name a few. He uses current and local events as the basis of his stories so one can identify with the characters.
He is well learned as he holds diplomas in Commercial Broadcasting and Radio and Television Production, an Honours Degree in Sociology, and has done two years post-graduate work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Paul Keens-Douglas was active in Drama from an early age and has a wide and varied background in Theatre and the Creative Arts. He has been recognized by his peers in several anthologies and international publications.
Several volumes of his works are available in many media, e.g. CDs, albums, and video. He has produced several radio and television storytelling series and is the founder/producer of annual Tim Tim Storytelling Show in Trinidad and Tobago. He is a founding member of the Association of Black Storytellers of America, and holds the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the Caribbean American Intercultural Organization Award, Washington, and the Beryl McBurnie Foundation for the Arts Award, Trinidad.