Manage episode 220836715 series 1301171
To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, The Verb presents ‘Unwritten’, a special edition of the programme telling the neglected stories of those who fought in the British West Indian Regiment, and the stories of those they left behind, through a series of new poems.
15,600 men from the Caribbean served everywhere from Messines to Egypt, Passchendaele to Palestine – and many received medals for their bravery. However, as the poet Karen McCarthy Woolf comments, ‘The wartime stories of these Caribbean servicemen were largely unheard at the time and have remained so ever since…We know many of their names and the roles they played, but we have few first-hand accounts to tell us what their lives were like during the conflict… “Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War” is an attempt to address this gap in the narrative.’
Those poets commissioned by this project, writing and researching new work, come from both the Caribbean, and the Caribbean diaspora. Performing are: Jay Bernard, Jay T John, Ishion Hutchinson, Kat Francois, Tanya Shirley, Vladimir Lucien, Charnell Lucien, Malika Booker and Karen McCarthy Woolf.
Recorded at the Contains Strong Language Festival in Hull, ‘Unwritten’ is a co-commission by 14-18 Now, The British Council, and BBC Contains Strong Language. As part of the Unwritten project, many of the poets involved visited Jamaica.
All the poems in this programme are included in the book ‘Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After The First World War’, published by Nine Arches Press in partnership with Wrecking Ball Press. Full versions of the broadcast poems can be heard in The Verb podcast.