July 6, 2003 – The Rock Collective, St. Thomas's not-for-profit group of poets and other performing and visual artists, will host its second annual Rock Fling International on Friday night at Club Amnesia in Four Winds Plaza with a gathering of prominent poets.
It's being billed as "an evening of hip hop, jazz and roots performance poetry, music and visual art."
Legendary Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka, Nuyorican poet Everton Sylvester (who spent some time in the territory as an artist in residence a few years ago), New York hip hop poet Vibes and Trinidadian poet Paula Obé are the off-island headliners. Also taking part will be St. Croix calypso poet Lillian Cesar-Sutherland, Marvin Williams and Josephine Lindquist.
The poetry will have musical or percussion accompaniment, Tiphanie Yanique, one of the organizers, said, with St. John's drumming group, The Echo People, providing the backup for some of the poets.
For the visual component, local artists Notnu Ellison, Jon Euwema, Peter "Pita" Gonzales, Abrahaman Muhammad and Afreekan Southwell will be exhibiting their work.
The first Rock Fling International last year "was at L'Escargot — the same thing, performance poetry, music and visual art — but on a much smaller scale," Yanique said.
On Friday night, no matter what your tastes in poetry may be, she said, "there will be somebody there for everybody to enjoy."
The event is set for 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Family Resource Center. Tickets are being sold at Beans Bytes & Websites, Dockside Bookshop, International Records and Tapes, Just Threads, Modern Music and Natural Food Grocery and Deli on St. Thomas; and at Connections on St. John.
There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.
Click on the names here to access Web sites where you can read more about Mutabaruka, Paula Obé and Everton Sylvester and their poetry.
The Rock Collective emerged to fill a void left when the University of the Virgin Islands Humanities Division on St. Thomas discontinued its monthly Poetry and Conversation get-togethers during the school year. The new group began holding open microphone Rock Lounge sessions at Marisol restaurant in the fall of 2001, then moved last fall to Villa Fairview.
For more information about Rock Fling International and The Rock Collective, call Yanique at 513-2266 or Mary Alexander at 693-1340.
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