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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFIRST-TIME PUBLISHER PRODUCES CALYPSO TOME

FIRST-TIME PUBLISHER PRODUCES CALYPSO TOME

Taking her personal computer's desktop publishing program at face value, Carmen Nibbs-O'Garro has just produced her first book — at an opportune time, as it deals with calypso and calypsonians of St. Thomas.
Nibbs-O'Garro, a local coordinator for the federal Job Corps program, has long been oriented to entrepreneurship, so self-publishing didn't seem that daunting, even on a shoestring budget. Her 11-year-old son, Zaheer Mohammed, is enough of a computer whiz to provide occasional technical consulting and enough of an artist to design the cover for the book. And it doesn't hurt that she's married to a regular calypso tent contender, the Mighty Figgy.
"In the Calypso Tent" is a tome of about 80 pages, replete with history, biographical information, lyrics and black and white photos of calypsonians. An alphabetical listing of "who is who in V.I. calypso" gives the stage and birth names of performers past and present in local calypso tents. It's intended, Nibbs-O'Garro says, as "a tribute to the oral historians of the Virgin Islands. . . Each year, calypsonians take part in Carnival singing and performing to small and large crowds. They make their mark as they put in songs the hot topic . . . the melee of the day."
Now for those of you not attuned to the process which culminates in the crowning of a V.I. calypso monarch at Carnival each year, be informed that nowadays there are no tents per se. Today's privately sponsored elimination rounds take place mainly in clubs and hotels, although the events are still billed as "calypso tents." Those who make the cut move eventually onto to the stage at Lionel Roberts Stadium for the V.I. Calypso Competition that is always on the Thursday night before the Friday Children's Parade a day away from the end of the carnival celebrations.
According to Nibbs-O'Garro, her first motivation to produce such a book came a couple of years ago when an internet acquaintance in Alaska asked her about calypso in the Virgin Islands and was impressed with the volume of information she was able to assemble. She really oughtta write a book, he said, a suggestion she took to heart. While the final product "is not how I envisioned my book," she says, "it is a starting point." In other words, finances permitting, look for more.
"In the Calypso Tents" is priced at $15, with distribution to Daniel's Variety Store on Main Street and Havensight Pharmacy. However, the pharmacy was down to its last copy Monday, April 24. Nibbs-O'Garro was off island, so information wasn't immediately available as to whether, going into the Carnival 2000 countdown, she has additional copies on hand to restock the shelves.

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Taking her personal computer's desktop publishing program at face value, Carmen Nibbs-O'Garro has just produced her first book -- at an opportune time, as it deals with calypso and calypsonians of St. Thomas.
Nibbs-O'Garro, a local coordinator for the federal Job Corps program, has long been oriented to entrepreneurship, so self-publishing didn't seem that daunting, even on a shoestring budget. Her 11-year-old son, Zaheer Mohammed, is enough of a computer whiz to provide occasional technical consulting and enough of an artist to design the cover for the book. And it doesn't hurt that she's married to a regular calypso tent contender, the Mighty Figgy.
"In the Calypso Tent" is a tome of about 80 pages, replete with history, biographical information, lyrics and black and white photos of calypsonians. An alphabetical listing of "who is who in V.I. calypso" gives the stage and birth names of performers past and present in local calypso tents. It's intended, Nibbs-O'Garro says, as "a tribute to the oral historians of the Virgin Islands. . . Each year, calypsonians take part in Carnival singing and performing to small and large crowds. They make their mark as they put in songs the hot topic . . . the melee of the day."
Now for those of you not attuned to the process which culminates in the crowning of a V.I. calypso monarch at Carnival each year, be informed that nowadays there are no tents per se. Today's privately sponsored elimination rounds take place mainly in clubs and hotels, although the events are still billed as "calypso tents." Those who make the cut move eventually onto to the stage at Lionel Roberts Stadium for the V.I. Calypso Competition that is always on the Thursday night before the Friday Children's Parade a day away from the end of the carnival celebrations.
According to Nibbs-O'Garro, her first motivation to produce such a book came a couple of years ago when an internet acquaintance in Alaska asked her about calypso in the Virgin Islands and was impressed with the volume of information she was able to assemble. She really oughtta write a book, he said, a suggestion she took to heart. While the final product "is not how I envisioned my book," she says, "it is a starting point." In other words, finances permitting, look for more.
"In the Calypso Tents" is priced at $15, with distribution to Daniel's Variety Store on Main Street and Havensight Pharmacy. However, the pharmacy was down to its last copy Monday, April 24. Nibbs-O'Garro was off island, so information wasn't immediately available as to whether, going into the Carnival 2000 countdown, she has additional copies on hand to restock the shelves.