PRAISE FOR PEOPLE OF GUYANA
"Every encounter with these two gifted Guyanese poets (both of whom I have known for over thirty years) fills my soul with laughter and tears, but always reminding me to see silver linings rather than lamenting areas of darkness. These beautifully crafted poems are shaped by their generosity of spirt and abundant capacity for empathy and fun—a celebration of the full life. They transcend the meanness of the human condition, as they adumbrate hope, and abounding joy, eclecticism and the absurdity of certainties"—Prof. Clem Seecharan, author of Sweetening Bitter Sugar: Jock Campbell, the Booker Reformer in British Guiana 1934-1966.
"Peter Jailall and Ian McDonald have joined forces to turn out moving poems about a diverse mix of Guyana’s colourful characters, folk lore, and history. Covering the length and width of the country, crisscrossing from north to south and east to west, these poems provide startling insights into its people and culture, and will remain with the reader long after the book is finished." Ken Puddicombe, author of Racing With The Rain and Junta.
"Poetry, in plain or "bruk-up" English, giving snapshots of our humanity through the peoples of Guyana. Even the dark side of human nature stirred by Guyana politics in days gone by gets captured. Still, the overriding thematic thrust reminds of qualities and experiences marking our common humanity: falling in love, gentleness in dealing with others, hard work, youthfulness, persevering, old age, facing death, life-turns, seeking, discovering, and so on. In them we see aspects of ourselves if not recognize personal histories. Poems honed to arrest attention: Consider Indrani's fire, gold-headed scorpion, tax clerk sympathy, seawall koker man, children playing under soursap tree, Betty, Mervyn, pineapple woman, Betty Kumar, Cory, and mile-a minute-man, for example. What is each conjuring up for you? Read, judge for yourself" —Prof. Abrahim H. Khan
"In People of Guyana, these poems by Ian McDonald and Peter Jailall, two of Guyana’s fine poets, preserve powerful moments that are rich in the experience of our Guyanese people. The poems profoundly draw upon the diversity of our Guyanese people, in terms of gender, race, social existence and offer deep philosophical insights into what it is to be human. Both Ian and Peter offer poems of strength, respect, courage, compassion, love and loss, as they depict folks in society - friends, acquaintances, neighbours, public figures - thus taking readers through life in city as well as villages of Guyana, while rendering some memorable tributes and experiences that bring new reflections of life." —Janet Naidu, Poet, writer and author of Winged Heart, Rainwater and Sacred Silence.
“In these extraordinary poems, Peter Jailall and Ian McDonald capture and take us on a journey through the human, physical and historical landscapes of Guyana. Fragmented encounters with pavement preachers, village schoolmasters, street vendors, cane cutters and nurses in marketplaces, cane fields, rum shops, the sea wall and shell beach will evoke for some emotionally charged memories and introduce others to spaces and places previously unknown. A beautiful collection of poems for shared readings by families and friends in the Guyanese Diaspora.” —Diana Abraham. Diana Abraham is a member of the Guyanese Diaspora who lives in Toronto Canada, her own writing credits are in fields relating to academic discourses on transnational migration, identify and belonging.