Guest Post by Gertrude Shotte
Anniversaries celebrated by education institutions are jubilant occasions by any measure. All anniversaries are special, but a 70th milestone is extra special! Understandably, the four campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) are in a state of euphoria. This 70th anniversary achievement is rightly creating ‘truckloads’ of excitement among staff, students, alumni, supporters and friends. This outstanding occasion in UWI’s history presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate the UWI story. The UWI journey is frothed with many challenges and problems of many kinds. Yet, there’s so much to celebrate!
So, as a proud graduate of UWI, what gift can I bring? What overtakes the ruby forty (40),the golden fifty (50) and the diamond sixty (60)? It is none other than the eternal POETRY! For other celebratory events, generally, people go out of their way to source the perfect gift. Quite often this means obtaining something that is significant and symbolic. I did not have to go out of my way to source my ‘gift’ because reading and writing poetry is my literary passion. And my ‘gift’ does have significance and symbolism.
To celebrate UWI’s 70th Anniversary, I have produced a booklet of poems entitled Celebrating 70 with Poetry. I intend to produce a revised version complete with illustrations and quotations. I have used 8 different types of poems and forms poetry to express my sentiments – quatrain, cinquain, dimante, couplet, haiku, limerick, pantoum and free verse. Each poem makes some kind of reference to UWI’s 70th milestone.
UWI Museum is a great place to celebrate poetry. It transcends the traditional museum by giving visitors the opportunity to engage in conversations about UWI’s past, present and future. AS UWI Museum continues to serve UWI and the Region it serves, may it continue to create literary spaces for local, regional and international audiences!
A proud UWI alumnus with postgraduate degrees from the University of London, Dr Gertrude Shotte is currently a Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) Supervisor/Consultant at the Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences, Department of Education, Middlesex University, London.