July 24, 2002 – The Voice Inside: A Literary Group is hosting "Nurturing the Soul: A Conversation with Writers and Friends" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute.
This free writers' forum will feature Althea Romeo-Mark, an internationally published Caribbean writer and University of the Virgin Islands graduate, and three local writers in a round table discussion about the challenges of writing.
Romeo-Mark is presently teaching English as a second language at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and formerly was assistant English professor at the University of Liberia, an English instructor at Kent State University, and, much earlier, a teacher at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School in St. Thomas.
Born in Antigua in 1948, Romeo-Mark grew up in St. Thomas and attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School where she graduated in 1967. She earned a bachelor's degree in education and English from UVI in 1971, and a master's in literature from Kent State University in 1974. According to her biography on the "Caribbean Writer" website, Romeo-Mark "believes her desire to write was inspired by her father, Gilbert Romeo, who is a fantastic storyteller and Dr. David Gershator, her former professor of literature" at UVI.
Romeo-Mark is well known to readers of UVI's Caribbean Writer: a number of her poems have been in the annual publication. She has published four collections of poems, and her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies. She has also received a number of literary awards, including one from the V.I. Council on the Arts. Her most recent work, "Easter Sunday, Karibia Forteller: An Anthology of Caribbean Short Stories," was published last year in Switzerland.
Local writers joining Romeo-Mark will be Daisy LaFond, a freelance writer and former magazine editor and publisher of The Virgin Islands Voice, a periodical; Tregenza Roach, a published writer and poet and the 1999 winner of the Detroit Writers' Guild fiction writing contest; and Bertica Hodge, a published poet and English teacher at Charlotte Amalie High School. Dr. Ruby Simmonds-Esannason, a retired educator and literary critic, will moderate the round table discussion.
The Voice Inside is a literary support group that provides an opportunity for local writers to share their work and experiences, and promotes creating literature in an effort to develop a dynamic community of writers in the Virgin Islands.
The forum is funded by the Virgin Islands Humanities Council. For more information call Elaine Jacobs at 714-1665.
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