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Tiphanie Yanique’s ‘Monster in the Middle’ Sets the Tone for Love this Weekend

Native Virgin Islands author and poet Tiphanie Yanique will be back in the territory this weekend to tour the islands with a book signing, and reading of her recently released “Monster in the Middle” book. 

The award-winning author Yaniquie sat down with the Source and Department of Planning and Natural Resources Monica Marin, who is the territorial chief curator in the Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Marin shared the robust schedule DPNR has planned for hosting Yanique Friday, Feb. 11, 5:30 to 8 p.m at Fort Christian on St. Thomas and Saturday, Feb. 12, 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Fort Frederik Museum on St. Croix. 

Yanique spoke briefly about her novel, “Land of Love and Drowning,” her book of short stories, “How to Escape a Leper Colony,” and her poetry collection, “Wife,” all that came before her 2021 release of “Monster in the Middle.” 

The 2011 Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an Academy of American Poets Prize have been awarded to Yanique for her writing skills. 

The debut book tour of “Monster in the Middle” brought Yanique to her native St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix in the late months of 2021. Its success was the impetus for DPNR to duplicate the tour this weekend. On St. Croix, the cultural significance of Frederiksted will be the location this time since the previous book signing was in Christiansted, the author said.

Virgin Islanders are included in the “Monster in the Middle” audiobook by the insistence of the author. George Silcott, Jr. and Oceana James are selected readers with Yanique who are heard within the audiobook. The three can be heard this weekend in the book signing and reading at the two locations, which are free to the public with RSVP to DPNR at the end of this news story. The space will be limited with strict COVID guidelines.

Sunday is a ticketed event hosted by “Voices of Love at 81C on St. Thomas, which includes champagne and local artisan bites by Chef Augustin Kelvin Holder. The website can be accessed at the end of this news story.

Yanique spoke about the content of “Monsters in the Middle” and “the issues we face in the Virgin Islands with the economy, racism, mental health, rape, the residue of colonialism, and other issues that have a lot of healing that needs to happen.” She looks forward to deeper conversations with attendees who have had the time to read her book.

The author is optimistic about setting the tone for “love that can save us” at the readings this weekend. 

For more information:

DPNR: amy.desorbo@dpnr.vi.gov

Voices of Love: https://81cvi.com/voices-of-love-1

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