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Feb 27, 2001

Poets launch new books

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The Image Factory has become well known as the nation’s premier art gallery, but behind the paintings and sculptures a successful publishing operation has been slowly gathering steam. Jose Sanchez reports on the two latest additions to the library.

Amado Chan, Reciting “The Phantom Bus”

“Kevin rides high

On a dream

Heavy with dark clouds

And a phantom

Urbina Bus

Crashing with troubled wheels

Up and down the Northern Road

carrying its spectral load

The broken limbs and blood

a gory night-

Mare

Joyfully ridden

Before the cries of pain

Are silenced

By the rising sun”

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Words can trigger war or inspire peace. No one will doubt the value of language, but Belizean authors Lita Krohn and Amado Chan plan to share the joy and hardship of life through the fluidity of poetry. Krohn and Chan are the two most recent poets to be published by the Image Factory’s Factory Books. Chan’s collection, “Make the Monarch Blush”, includes English and Spanish translations to attract a wider audience.

Amado Chan, Poet

“Make the Monarch Blush is the title of one of the poems. It’s a very outstanding poems, it’s a sad story based on the history of oppression, abuse. It’s also based on what is happening right now. In certain respects people are silenced, we are voiceless in different respects and only other peoples voices are heard.”

Amado Reciting “Make the Monarch Blush”

“This is the story

of a young man

who smiled at the world

the day he was born

the sun may not have smiled at him

but his teeth sparkled

in the darkness

of his existence

all the gloom around him

never tamed his passion

for life. All the tormenting pain

he bore in silence-

smiling quietly

or bursting in rowdy laughter

he didn’t speak queen elizabeth’s

english very well

but the philosophy

in his humble words

would make the monarch blush

he didn’t speak king ferdinand’s

spanish much

but the few words he did speak

were as strong

as the curse

of any hot-blooded pania

or as meek and mild

as the blessing

of any pious catholic

you may wonder what language

this young man did speak

I didn’t ever get to know

for his voice

was strangled even before his birth.”

Yasser Musa , Publisher, Factory Books.

“I am very intrigued by his work. He has a very unique style of writing and also he is an educator, he lectures at UB. From the first publication, I knew that here we have a man in Belize who, in terms of poetry, where poetry is concerned, a very gifted writer.”

Amado Chan

“I’m trying to suggest we should listen to more people. Whereas we may look up to the leaders and think they are the ones who are experts in different fields and we hero-worship them. We are not giving the common man, the ordinary man, a chance to speak his mind. There are many things that can come from the ordinary man.”

Factory Books has produced twenty-six publications in the past three years, ranging from Sean Gibson’s comic, “Major Destruction” to the darkness of Leroy Young’s “Made in Pinks Alley”. Now they plan to awaken our senses with Lita Krohn’s “Pink Dust.”

Lita Krohn Reciting “Exquisite Greens”

“The Maya Riviera-2000

Is off the color charts

No such blues and exquisite greens

The beaches bright and white

And the sign reads:

Waiters, cleaners, drivers wanted:

Preferably brown.”

Lita Krohn, Poet/Artist

“Pink Dust just came together a couple months ago. I’ve had little poems and bits of writings here and there for a very long time. I used to write things when I was in Mexico in the 70′s to my dad. He was always very encouraging of my writing. He liked poetry and so he appreciated what I would write, so I just kept these things.”

Jose Sanchez

“And they gathered up like dust?”

Lita Krohn

“And they gathered up a lot of dust.”

Yasser Musa

“It brings together both the artistic sides of Lita Krohn as well as her poetic side. Those are the two areas we have been involved in, publishing a lot of poetry as well as art publications. It certainly made sense for us to approach it and get involved. I’m very excited about the product and outcome and how it works visually as well as the poetry side.”

Krohn’s poetry, like her paintings are colorful moments of life that reach back as far as thirty years.

Lita Krohn

“I have one to el Che and I think he’s one of my heroes and that’s positive. I have something else where I start to talk about a woman’s view.”

Lita Krohn Reciting “Mother, Wife, Maid, Whore and Friend”

“They want: mother, wife, maid, whore and friend

Five personas rolled into one hot tamale

Work all day and mash all night!

Inside strain and stress

Think: health, happiness and wealth

Work all day and mash all night?

Brains, firm breasts and buttocks… wrinkle-free

A worthwhile commodity

Stress the long shelf life or else!

Work all day and mash all night!

Become the geisha, Victoria’s Secret

Hooker, friend…

But what about me? Or is it all about me?

Work all day and mash all night?

Jose Sanchez

“Just looking at the cover, I can see a woman’s back and a watermelon half eaten. So where do we want to keep this, on the shelf in the kitchen, or in the library?”

Lita Krohn

“You can keep it in your back pocket. The size is very practical, you can take it to the beach. You can take it to… Does it fit in your pocket? Oh good, you can stick it in your pocket. I hope it becomes a little gem that people will treasure and get inspired.”

Reporting for News 5, Jose Sanchez.

Both books are on sale for ten dollars at the Image Factory and other outlets.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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