Welcome to the inaugural issue of Moko, a journal dedicated to publishing new works by emerging and established poets, fiction writers, and artists in and from the Caribbean. Our cover art for this issue is provided by the young and talented Piaget Moss of The Bahamas. You can view more of her work here.
Moko will publish every November, March, and July. Our aim is to be an open and accessible source for Caribbean art and literature for students, academics, and the general public.
In our first issue, we are immensely proud to share with you the work of eight Caribbean writers and artists who practice everywhere from Trinidad to New York City, from Tortola to Accra. Moko’s mission is to encourage networks, connections, and growth across artistic media and national borders; to showcase the work of our local creatives alongside those working abroad and wanting to stay in dialogue with home.
We also hope to connect artists, writers and scholars in our own islands in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands with like-minded communities around the region and its diaspora, something that doesn’t happen nearly enough. All of Moko’s editors are committed to multiplicity and to growing alongside our contributors and readers. We are enjoying the journey, and we hope you will join us!
David and Richard.
Paintings by Florine Demonsthene
“These mixed media pieces, textual mélanges of ink, oil, graphite, and charcoal, depict voluptuous female figures amid a strange world of decay and destruction.”
“Spooky” by Manuel Mathieu
“Being creative and inventive with my heritage proved challenging, especially when it is so easy to succumb to elementary and arbitrary interpretations of culture.”
“Moment to Moment” by Nilsa Wheatley
“I asked my mother to talk to me about what it was like living in a time without electricity. One of the visuals that stood out to me was her talking about walking at night with lanterns. So I was inspired by the idea of moving light and a contrast of light and dark, day and night and fire.”
Paintings by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
“It was only years after, when I started working on a paper on landscape and women’s poetry, that I came into a fuller awareness of the garden metaphor in women’s writing and art.”
“We Did Not Follow the Hummingbirds” by Colin Robinson
“Nothing works well/save the charm and eagerness/of the housekeeping staff/who like the waiters/remind me where a nation’s richest resource lies”
Poems by Soyini Ayanna Forde
“Then you pick up my skin, dark/smelling like shea butter and vanilla/so carefully flayed from my bones/and re-dress me as myself”
Poems by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
“They say my great-grandmother lived alone in the leaning house/I slept there once, long after her death/my body rocked between the walls by/a slow August earthquake”
“Single Entry” by Celeste Rita Baker
“Before, I was ’round twenty five feet at my equator, but I was fifty by de time I reach de judge’s Stand. Ole Lady Stinking Toe petals drippin’ from me steada sweat. Jasmine petals drifting in me breeze, scenting de whole Square. I have volcanoes erupting on de bass, and trade winds blowing loud like horns. Earthquakes trembling de drums. Tis de Earth song, you see. I’s de Earth. And dey lovin’ me.”
“The Mission” by Dalton Narine
“In Vietnam, I am American. In America, I’m an immigrant. In the bush, a plain ol’ grunt. The new ugly American. Such a dichotomy! I must analyze later this strange creature, its head braided in a stars and stripes bandanna, dropped just so in the lap of my psyche.”