NYBG | AFRICAN AMERICAN GARDEN: THE CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE
June 19 @ 10:00 am - November 1 @ 5:00 pm
New York Botanical Garden | African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience
June 17 – November 2, 2023
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET)
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
Free Grounds Admission is available to everyone, regardless of residency, on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET) and to NYC residents all day on Wednesdays.
Cave Canem and New York Botanical Garden have joined forces to present African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience, the second installation of the African American Garden Poetry walk focused on Caribbean poets.
Curated by our Director of Programs, Dante Micheaux, this year’s poetry walk captures the rich cosmopolitanism of the Caribbean. The poems are accessible in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
The devastating epic of Desiree C. Bailey’s “Chant for the Waters and Dirt and Blade” is a harrowing passage on the commodity which, arguably, fueled Europe’s enslavement project—sugar; a comic plea touches upon the ramifications of World War II in “Rice Gawn,” a poem by Louise Bennett, whose life’s work was to codify Jamaican Patois in myth and the stories of the island; Gustavo Pérez Firmat’s word play in “Bilingual Blues” allows the Spanish language to dance in the center of its newfound English-speaking homeland; Rico Frederick’s “Grandpa Shoes” is a warm depiction of life in Trinidad from the point of view of a child and told at a child’s speed; the sensual act of eating fruit becomes a poet’s meditation in “Paradise and Quenepas” by Jane Alberdeston Coralin; and the clear, high lyric of Marie-Ovide Dorcely threatens a kind of transcendental rapture with its beauty.
It is our hope that the poems curated for African American Garden: The Caribbean Experience will convey; that the flora which appears in the poems, and also in the garden itself, become emblems of memory and portals to a time or place that is special to each individual visitor.