ISBN 9789881932136
Pbk. 176pp. (plus 8 colour pp.w. 9 original illustrations by the author)
18.4cm by 12.2cm.
Published March 2011.
Purchase and details link: Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems

Lelawattee MANOO-RAHMING was born in Trinidad in 1960. She is married to a Bahamian, and lives in Nassau, The Bahamas. Lelawattee is a poet, fiction and creative non-fiction writer and essayist. She further expresses her creativity and seeks enlightenment through sculpture and drawing. She has won essay and art awards in The Bahamas. Internationally, she has won the David Hough Literary Prize (2001) and the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize (2009) for Short Fiction and was Overall Winner of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) Short Story Competition 2001. Her first book of poetry, Curry Flavour, was published in 2001 in England. Lelawattee is a practicing Mechanical/Building Services Engineer and is President and co-owner, with her husband, of a consulting engineering firm in Nassau, The Bahamas. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in many publications: in the Caribbean, the UK, USA and Holland. Lelawattee has participated in workshops directed by well-known writers, presented literary papers and been a Keynote Speaker. She has given poetry performances or been the featured poet in many countries.

Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems is Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming's second collection of poetry, shortlisted for the International Proverse Prize for Literature (2009).

Inspired by the Hindu philosophy of reincarnation, many of the poems in this new collection are written in memory of loved ones. But, in the same way that the orange and red flowers of the Immortelle tree flame the forests and plains of Trinidad, these poems are brightened with imagery of hope and rebirth. The brilliant flowers of the Immortelle tree also evoke the flames in Hindu cremation ceremonies. Thirteen days after the cremation, Bhandaaraa puja is performed to help the newly-released soul depart this earthly plane. These poems are like the Bhandaaraa prayers that feed the souls of the dead and the living. Manoo-Rahming's Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems is filled with scenes from the poet's physical landscape which spans the Caribbean, from The Bahamas, her present home, to Trinidad, the land of her birth. The language of these sensual poems is a syncretism of her East Indian-derived Bhojpuri Hindi and her Trinbagonian creole, peppered with nuances of the Bahamian vernacular. This syncretism is reflected in the themes of the poems. Although many of the poems deal with Indo-Caribbean anthropology, the collection embraces other cultures and religions which are present in the Caribbean, and speaks to the fluidity in philosophy that can exist and flourish, in such plural societies.

Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems is a celebration of life and a testament to the lives of those who have passed on.

"Stunning variety of language and range of reference"—Proverse Prize Judges

"Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming is a poet and mixed media artist of great range and complexity; all of the world and its myriad experiences are her concern. These collected works range in both content and tone from the sacred to the profane, from grief to joy, and the journey both in its language and vision is impressive and courageous. Manoo-Rahming guides the reader through national, regional, and familial history while simultaneously revealing, mourning and celebrating her diverse cultural inheritance." — Sandra Pouchet Paquet, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English, University of Miami.

Purchase and details link: Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems

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